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The Lion Hunters

We were taking a hike on the Continental Divide this morning when a couple super-athletes came by. Both dogs made Tour de France cyclists look like pudgy marshmallows. They had enormously long legs, exposed ribs, and tortilla-sized floppie ears. They had no interest in being petted or drinking water. They were not unfriendly to me or my kelpie, Coffee Girl.


But there was an indifference that I'm not used to seeing in a dog. I don't like it. A dog should be your friend and come back to you when called. The "generalist" makes a better pet than an obsessive-compulsive specialist, like these two workaholic hounds.

Still, you have to admire a critter that is good at what it does, and does exactly what it was "meant" to do. That certainly describes these two. They were serious professionals on the job, hunting for something. Their earnestness was accentuated by the GPS collars and foot-long antennas, which gave them a bionic-super-dog look.

Since my own little pood…

A Twinkies Bailout Coming?

You can easily imagine president Obama taking a few days off, maybe even a vacation, after a hard-fought reelection campaign. That's not to say that the next four years don't look frightening enough; in fact, "winning" the White House in 2012 might ironically turn out to be a curse for his party, or for the other one if it had won. But still, shouldn't he be able to act like a human being and soak it up for awhile?

Alas, political life can be cruel. His post-election Era of Good Feeling is already cut short by the crisis at hand. I'm not referring to the General Petraeus scandal or the Israeli invasion of Gaza. Those are just sideshows. I'm referring to the liquidation of Hostess Brands, the makers of Ho Ho's, Ding Dongs, and Twinkies.

Although it's good to see that a crisis of this gravity is being given proper attention by the business media, nobody is yet discussing the necessity of a bailout. (Perhaps in a day or two, we'll see pro-bailout e…

Moving Beyond Postcards

An experienced traveler has to move onward and upward when it comes to his appreciation of the outdoors. The postcard-worship of the newbie/vacationer is no longer of much use to him. Many people are uncomfortable with statements like this because they think they are negative. Was it "negative" when you graduated kindergarten and were promoted to first grade?

A year ago I experienced an unusually powerful example of "aesthetic evolution" near Socorro, NM. Explaining it seemed like a big project. And we all know what people do when they are dreaming things up into a big project. They procrastinate. Since I returned to this area recently let's see if it I can knock it down to size, this time around. 

I went into a certain area along a dirt road. My expectations were very low. In fact I remember henpecking myself about the choice of road and the waste of gasoline. It was a complete surprise to encounter some sexy and naked "structural geology."

It's …

Pop Quiz on 'How to Read a Book'

Occasionally it is fun to see if I can catch the readers sleeping by giving them a pop quiz. A couple comments about eReader gadgets recently revealed an opportunity for me to move in for the kill (grin). There seems to be a misunderstanding of what it takes to read a book comfortably

This is an important topic for those of us who see internet addiction (on trivial and repetitive websites) as a serious problem to overcome. Has anyone ever beaten a vicious habit by trying to replace it with a vacuity? I doubt it. They need to replace it with something that has a positive existence; something that is tangible, lively, and takes up time. In my case that means giving up the insulting trivialities of the blogosphere and going back to reading "books."

Now for the multiple choice quiz: which factor has the greatest beneficial effect on your comfort, endurance, and attention span when reading a book?
Display size of the eReader, i.e, 7", 10", etc.Operating system of the eRe…

A Setback Along the Trail to Internet Addiction Recovery

The other day Coffee Girl and I were mountain biking on some fine land near Grants NM at the border of BLM and national forest. Even if huffing and puffing didn't inform you that you were climbing, altitude leaves a track by transitioning from high grasslands (with desert characteristics) to juniper shrubs to pinyon trees to ponderosas. One area was spider webbed with old two-tracks that went into a firewood-cutting area.

Naturally all of this exploring was free of silly encumbrances such as maps and gadgets. Trial and error. After many dead ends it was time to ask why I wasn't better at finding my own tracks: mountain bike tire tracks are easy to see.

Why was reading tracks so interesting and important? It sounds like a boring topic. But I experienced such a strange near-obsession over it.  As always, it is fun to stand somewhat apart from yourself and wonder what the heck was going on, and then explain it. 

Having free time lets the mind become interested in topics that would …