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Showing posts from March, 2022

Focusing on the Important

The recent miracle of 0.25" of rain in Arizona was enjoyable, of course. What I like most about it is the chance to focus on what is most important to the world. When you do so, the secondary stuff recedes into the background. Such as temperature. It wouldn't surprise me if people who like downsizing their physical junk also carry this over to their mental habits. A full time RVer is a pretty good example of a physical downsizer. Truly, I dislike giant piles of just about anything. This inclination has always undermined my interest in books. They are the best example of how ridiculous a giant pile of unnecessary crap can be.  Walking around in the mud makes you appreciate what an inch of gravel can do on a dirt road. So who needs a pile of words or a pile of books about, say, the history of technology?  I usually have mountains to look at. So what? They are just gigantic piles of useless rubble. 

The Need to Believe

I found one more thing that wasn't disgusting or depressing: the boots-on-the-ground videos of Patrick Lancaster. (Just do a search for him on or even on YouTube, believe it or not.) I will give him the benefit of the doubt because I have a need to believe that there is still some courage and integrity left in the world. With most of the world, and with the lying media and scummy politicians of both parties, I have completely lost hope. It is simply impossible to live not believing anything.

Staying Balanced During a Crisis

How do you manage your media consumption during times of crisis? Either you manage it or the lie machine will manage it for you. I want to look at media that keeps me from getting beaten down, defeated, and turned indifferent. I want to stay light-hearted, as crazy as that sounds. It almost sounds disrespectful of all the serious suffering in the world. But a human being cannot stand too much earnestness or sententiousness. For instance I am rereading Robert Massie's "Peter the Great." All the news from Ukraine, grim as it is, makes this book more interesting. Peter's first military success was near the coast of the Sea of Azov, a body of water most Americans never heard of until a couple weeks ago. But then somebody threw a switch in the Lie Machine, and now, millions of info-peasants think the Sea of Azov is of crucial importance to them. Another example is this video of an Indian journalist talking back to a Western professor. Damn, this video made me feel good!  (

No Longer a City Girl

It is interesting to camp near an Arizona Trail trailhead. You can have interesting conversations with people. This morning -- or dawn actually -- the girls wanted to go out for a walk. I was flabbergasted by the size of the javelinas we saw. Both dogs barked of course. What was Q.t. 𝞹 thinking when she saw these big, ugly beasts? She is a city girl. Or was. And what is it with these big, dumb cow thingies that just stare at her? Is she supposed to do something about that? Later I let her scamper off-leash up a steep section of the Arizona Trail, on the way up to a ridgeline.  She went crazy. It is so nice to have a dog stay close to you, so you can still see them. Especially a small dog. 

Returning to Planet Earth

Let's say it is your last day in an area you like. How can you end your stay in a pleasing way? It would be nice to honor it. So I took a walk with Q.t.𝞹 on a small forest road that doesn't get much motor-crazed yahoo traffic. On the drive in, there was a group of horse-people doing a dispersed camp. The road we walked on had an unusually large number of live oak trees.   The leaves are pretty humble compared to an oak leaf in the East but in the Western states, beggars can't be choosers when it comes to leaves or vegetation. On the drive in, we also saw a fine Arizona sycamore. People who haven't experienced the ghastly wasteland of the lower Colorado River just can't understand the relief a person feels when they start seeing a little earth-like normalcy return.  

Is Video the Right Medium?

Lately I have fallen into the habit of watching too many videos. It is good see a variety of world opinions offered on these videos. But sometimes I wonder why the video needs to be a video at all -- there is nothing to look at. It is just a talking head, and it talks with such a thick accent that it is hard work to listen to it. It is getting so that I simply turn off the video after 5 seconds if the accent is too strong. Australian accents barely count as 'English'. They are more than muddled -- they are painful to listen to. Even English accents can get annoying because of their inability to pronounce the letter r. We won't even talk about New Yawk accents. It is funny how some accents seem quaint and fun to listen to. For instance, Irish and Scottish accents work like that. Some southern USA accents are pleasant to listen to. I wonder if many of these terrible speakers can write and read English quite well? If so, then why shouldn't they write blogs instead of maki

Is Gravel Biking a Passing Fad?

As I get ready to leave Patagonia AZ, it is worth talking about the gravel-bicycle craze. This town has become a mecca for gravel bike riding. This is ironic to me because I was bicycling dirt roads in this area 20 years ago -- before it was 'cool'. Are gravel bicycles a passing fad? The case is pretty good that they are. Of course the bicycle industry is always looking for an excuse to trick their customers into buying one more bicycle.  From the looks of gravel cyclists here, they are really "roadies" who are perhaps accepting the grim reality of riding (paved) roads: too many cars, driven by people who are too distracted by electronic gadgets in the cabin of their cars. Drivers think their car is their living room. Do any drivers look out the windshield anymore? Thus they have switched to gravel riding with a bike that is 90% the same as a 'road' bike. But I wonder how many gravel bikers have come from the opposite end of the spectrum, that is, the single-

Imagine a World Without Wasteland

Whenever a blogger talks about the weather, it is natural for a reader to think that the blogger has nothing really to talk about today. So what is my excuse? I walked around yesterday in a state of mild euphoria. It had rained significantly overnight. The ground was slightly muddy. The air started off uncomfortably humid -- in Arizona?! As the day progressed, it cleared up but the air stayed moderately humid. I felt like I was walking through a thin medicinal unguent, rather than air. Imagine Neosporin turned into air. I actually liked seeing the sun! This sort of experience only happens four or five days per year in this part of North America, so nobody can accuse me of excess repetition. Can you imagine a weather-utopia better than getting 0.1" of slow rain overnight, say, once per week? Everything would smell good in the morning, everything would be so fresh and full of life.  

Introducing Q.t. 𝞹

In case you haven't experienced it before: how nice it is to have a clean, lavender-shampooed, brushed, luvvie-duvvie poodle in your bed at night! She would snuggle right up against my face if I let her. Life doesn't get any better than this -- except when we are cycling. ( I do wish the bed was wider!) She is tied to my waist when cycling. It is counter-intuitive but the dog is safer when you shorten the leash so that she keeps the wheel in her peripheral vision. (5 feet is about right.) I have tried a basket that mounts to the handlebar. It is easy and quick to stuff the dog into the basket. But 20 pounds is quite a bit of weight on the handlebar. It feels clumsy, so I might give up on this idea. I am having no luck at getting her to stay in her K9 sport sack. It is hard to catch her on camera when she is happy and prancing. It is great that the dog gets to face forward and stick its forepaws out of the bag, but she is too nervous, so far.

The Right Equipment for the Southwest?

An Arizona Trail hiker taught me something the other day. He had fair skin and reddish hair and had most of his skin covered. I complimented him on his silver parasol. He had walked several hundred miles with it and the wind hadn't destroyed it yet. Was he just lucky or does the vented design really work? From sun grubbies .com  It wouldn't cost much to find out. You don't think I would get laughed at? Nobody would have laughed at Eli Wallach, playing the Bandito in "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" when he used his parasol in the desert.  

Real War Footage, For Once?

It seems so naive and foolish to think that, for once, I found something on a medium as vile as YouTube that wasn't corporate media bullshit, propaganda, or show business. And I am afraid of being disappointed once more, so I won't look into it. I am referring to the sniper work of Deki in the Donbass. It was a bit like watching one of my favorite movies, "Enemy at the Gate," made about 15 years ago. Of course, here, you couldn't see the enemy soldier being hit by a bullet. You could hear the shot and then had to believe "Deki" that 'he got him.'  It certainly seemed real to me, but of course, 'seeing really isn't believing.' It is very easy to be fooled by the camera. It would be a miracle to experience something that isn't Fake News and show business. 

Who Fact-Checks the Fact Checkers?

  At one time I was interested in RVing in Mexico. There were quite a few Canadians around. I remember one fellow, who I liked, go through a daily ritual. As the afternoon sun became lower in the sky, an aura of anticipation built up around him. The CBC broadcast was coming on in a few minutes! All other activities had to stop. Things needed to be quiet. He had such reverence for the news broadcast I am surprised he didn't light a certain number of candles in a certain manner, and put a prayer rug down on the Mexican campground's dust. His reverence for the truthfulness and earnestness of the CBC was one of the most educational things about my Mexican adventure. Back to today... I am interested in this new trend of "fact checkers" showing up in the Media. Do you suppose that these actually have "fact checker" on their business cards or on a label at their corporate cubicle? How does a job interview work for a potential fact checker? What are their qualificat

Sell the RV As Quickly As Possible?

  There have been fuel increases and RV industry recessions in the past. But this one seems different. Fuel prices are already in the news. But I wonder when the RV industry recession takes over from the boom of the last couple years. It shouldn't take long -- and frankly, the sooner the better. I suppose most people who bought monstrosities like the one above can afford to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars on their "investment." There doesn't seem to be any cure for the foolish trends of the RV industry other than an occasional financial disaster! There are people who get incredibly lucky with timing -- imagine the people who sold their RV a few months ago! Is it already too late to sell? It is tempting to say, "The Ukraine War will soon be over, and then prices will come back to normal. " But normal ain't what it used to be. The current regime is hostile to the petroleum industry. It will do everything possible to sabotage it and force nudge the


From time to time I've had a pretty good time mountain biking on single-track trails. Normally I am willing to try it just to please somebody else. But it is hard not to think about the adolescent recklessness of the sport, and that gnaws away at enjoyment. That is why a recent ride is worth celebrating. I was just flat out in-love with a single-track trail for the first time ever . It was a new section of the Arizona Trail, which bypassed the town of Patagonia. Here is what the terrain looked like.  You can see the spine of the dendritic ridgelines. The trail followed rough isoclines about 30 feet from the top spine. So the trail looked like gloriously perverse S-shaped curves. The foreground was grassland.  The background was lorded over by mighty Mt. Wrightson. But at the bottom of the declivities were large live-oak trees.  To appreciate this fully, remember that the western third of North America is a barren leaf-less wasteland. A cold front had arrived that day. There is noth

Will We Ever Learn?

The world could spare itself so much verbiage if it just looked at the style, temperament, or zeitgeist, instead of policy details.  Since the 1920s Americans have become passive consumers of advertising B.S.  Once habitual complacency takes over one's life, it is just as easy to tolerate lies from the Empire of Lies, that is, the Deep State and the corporate media. Unless there is a general mood of self-pride, why would people become angry about being constantly lied to? But complacency has taken the place of pride. Like Charlie Brown, they will naively come running up for one more attempt to kick the football.   The fellow in the cartoon above is a 'normal' American. If he would get up and walk away from the media -- in disgust -- he would be considered a 'kook', crank, complainer, hothead, or conspiracy theorist.