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Rule-Based Robots

I have been surprised (and disappointed) by how subservient many people are to the lockdown, face diapers, etc. But the political angle of this has been talked about enough. There is a different perspective that might go a ways to explaining craven obedience. Think back a few decades to when the digital clock became standard on most nightstands. I always disliked them, and wondered why people put up with them. Circa 1970. Then TVs acquired remote controls, with dozens of tiny buttons. Soon VCRs jumped on the bandwagon, and of course had their own remote control, so now you could wrestle with two of the damn things at the same time. On and on it went: a PC (computer) on every office desk, and more and more people did office wussie work for a living, as America became post-industrial and bureaucratic. Then you started doing your taxes on software such as TurboTax. In fact you did everything on the computer. It became strange to ever touch pen and paper. But the reductio ad

Blending a Travel Experience with Something Else

There have been times recently when I just stand there, outside my camper, and can't believe it: I am not in pain. I am not suffering the relentless onslaught of hot sun, high winds, blowing dust, thorns and stickers, rattlesnakes, and rodents. My skin is healing. So are my fingernails. Even my eyeballs are recovering. So soothing and green. What would be the perfect music for moments like this? The genre of Celtic/New Age would be a good place to hunt. No doubt, a couple of my (male) commenters will accuse me of going soft in the head if I suggest some of Enya's songs. On a classic TV western episode, the cowboys were gittin' tired at night and ready to turn in. A new kid had showed up recently and joined their crew. The cowboys thought it was hilarious that he had a fiddle. He played Brahm's Lullaby for them. Surprisingly, they settled right into it. That was really "valued added" for the screenwriter to combine two ideas like that. But what about

Almost in Tears...

I am almost in tears. Have I ever asked anything from the reader, before? I am going to ask for something now. No, I don't want you to click on something that will redound to my bank account. Nor do I want you to go to my Patreon page. (I ain't got one.) All I ask for is advice on a decent weather website or app. Is that a humble request or what? Actually it would be vital information. So far "Pocket Rain Gauge" is the best app I know of. It gives one -- and only one --piece of information: the MEASURED RAINFALL ACCUMULATION at my present location over the last 24 hours. It updates the number every hour. Perfect! Except for one thing: it only gives the accumulation at my present location. If I want to know about someplace else -- and a traveler IS interested in several other places -- it just won't cooperate.   The big name weather websites probably give the rainfall accumulation in some obscure place, gotten to by stepping down through the menu to leve

Recovering from Photo-phobia

"You came all the way up here, just for shade? the flagger asked. I had stopped for the road paving. She struck up a conversation probably just to kill time. I tried to explain the facts of life to her, but how could I? She was standing there, on a road, in bright sunlight, and didn't even have a hat on. Why waste my breath? From The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly The Idaho forests are darker than the inside of my trailer. A friend calls it "my little cave."  I am really enjoying the opaqueness of these overgrown fuel-bomb forests. It has been a pleasant surprise. It is actually possible to go out mountain biking late in the morning, say, 08:30, and luxuriate in the cool shade, right out on the road! It would be even better if there were a breeze, but wind can't move through an opaque forest. Go to the thesaurus and look up all the words that describe my relief, which is the mirror image of what northern snowbirds feel when they show up along the lower

Do Grizzlies Like Rap Music?

From Franklin's Autobiography: that were it offered to my choice, I should have no objection to a repetition of the same life from its beginning, only asking the advantages authors have in a second edition to correct some faults of the first. So I might, besides correcting the faults, change some sinister accidents and events of it for others more favourable. In going north this summer I have a chance to correct a mistake made my first year RVing: I got suckered into "ursaphobia."  Back then, I read books on bear attacks. This year I have watched GoPro videos of bears attacking mountain bikers. Enough! This must stop. This is strange because I handle other kinds of risk in a rational way: automobiles (when driving or bicycling), rattlesnakes, Covid, medical emergencies (when camping alone), and automobile breakdowns when I had an older van. By "rational" I mean acknowledging the unavoidability of risk in any life worth living, while minimizing unnecessa