Friday, August 31, 2012

Bullies and Republicans

       I am not commenting about the convention this week, but....Nothing has changed since I started paying attention to politics in 1960 when Nixon and Kennedy were going at it. The Repubs are all about $...not your money and my money...they are about big money, their cronies money, their backers money, eventually the candidates' money.
       The Dems are about the Human to control and manipulate the Human element....bureaucrats, always trying to maintain the bureacracy. The War on Poverty, The War on Drugs, The War on Financial Cheats and The Wars on The Rest of the World....what a joke, it's all about control and money. It's really not about keeping us Safe and Free.
        I used to think we'd end up with a more Humanistic society when all the Old School Conservatives died of old age. It's not happening. Through their mainstream propaganda networks these old guys have brainwashed a whole new generation of "wealthy wanna-bes".
         Here's my frustration with "Bullies". The American motorist...callous and clueless. Pedestrian rights? What a joke that is...until walkers and cyclists start strapping on vests loaded with several sticks of dynamite, the American motorist will have zero respect for the little guy operating under his own power. Big Truck translates into superior power just like Big Money does. The little guy is just supposed to get out of the way.
        What I discovered on a visit to Europe over ten years ago was that people mattered....just regular on-the-street people. Few people worship the rich and the powerful and anyone that's driving a behemoth truck that makes extra loud noises when it passes you, better be hauling the town's daily trash or delivering topsoil , because if you are bullying around in a Dodge Ram 3500 just to be impressive.....just to make a statement about who you "think" you are an idiot!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fitness Vacation, Number Nineteen

    Lisa and I have been an "item" for over thirty-six years. We have a pattern of bi-annual/ month long, or more, fitness adventure vacations. We are about to embark on another...cycling and camping in the Austrian/ Italian Alps. We are bringing our finest bicycles and camping gear to Bavaria, where we will pick-up a VW rental car and buy a detailed regional Michelin Map.
    We decide our route when we get there. We'll be looking for hill climbs with a minimum of motor traffic...our track record is good in this department. Autumn lays out the best weather of the year, in the Alps climbs to ski stations provide the most spectacular climbs. Ideally there will be a campground at the bottom of every target climb. Campgrounds are good secure places to launch from, they are usually only half full in Sept. or Oct. and the hosts are always friendly and protective of our layout.
    We don't try to replicate the stages of the Tour de France during these trips...we ride more days than they do, but only forty miles a day...we are old people, c'mon. There's always a good shower and sometimes even a pool or a sauna at the camp. We end the day with soup cooked over our small portable stove, a hunk of cheese and a glass of local wine. Often Eurocampings have two or three good hillclimbs out of them, in which case we stay a couple days at the same basecamp.
     "How do you afford this?", people often ask. I answer with, How can we afford not to?  I'm quite sure that these outings add weeks on to the end of our lives and we aren't concerned with leaving our kid with a nest egg......he'll do fine on his own, a more capable and confident young man, I have never met.
     These trips are also excellent "mental vacations". To be in such a foreign land, performing simple tasks that are strenuous but familiar to our bodies, let's the mind unwind and the worries subsequently fall behind..."We leave it on the tarmac." I like to say.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Done With Politics

Someone like Gore Vidal, Truman Capote or Maurice Sendak was proud of the expression...politics make strange bedfellows...No one involved in these 2012 political games knows if they are being honest or not. We have seriously lost a grip on reality....and those people running for office are guilty of self-serving "pretzel logic". So, it goes back to........ Take care of your family, be as healthy as as you can be, have an elevated level of compassion for those less fortunate, and those who think they are superior, make the people around you happy and keep 'em laughing....Take care of the business at hand, do the things that make your life work and help others focus on the same.
Advice, I'm full of it....and what did I have for dinner last night? Beer and blueberry cake...horrible farts and two pounds heavier in the morning.
2012...remember? The last year of the Mayan calendar...The Queen said, "Let them eat cake!"
With this in mind, we have made plans for another month of camping and cycling in Europe. I'm sure we'll be there for the official collapse of their economy...I've been carrying some of these Euros around for twelve years. They'll be worthless by December.
So, what's important now is cranking our way up mountain passes highlighted in the Giro d'Italia and toasting the day with local wines (in recycled mustard glasses). If I find plentiful wifi signals you'll be able to see the whole thing unfold on fb.
Don't waste much time on the politicians and their rhetoric this Autumn...take care of your families and stay as healthy as you can...or, resolve to attain excellent health, because there will be life after 12/21/2012...however, it could be a radically different reality for all of us. That's what the Mayans were  indicating, there would be a rearranging of priorities...not the end of the World. If your guy loses this Fall, believe me, it won't be the end of the World.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Power Outage

It couldn't happen here...two-thirds of a billion people lost their electricity in India last week...of course, one third of a billion never had legitimate connections with the power grid. North America is far too clever and modern for such an event... right? Some things are beyond our control. Would two-thirds of Americans be uncomfortable if the power went down for a week?
Here in Northern Plumas County we have been training for such an event for.....well, the last one hundred years. Every Winter, and I have been here for the last 27, we experience an outage for at least a day, and I can remember week long outages, as well. We have an unrealistic "faith" in our modern country to be able to avoid such an event.
Oh yea, I am plugged in. I avoid online banking and I don't own a cell phone...but hell, I use an electric toothbrush! Google EMP and see if that doesn't scare you. I'm a big fan of the Sun...I'm tickled pink that it comes up on a regular schedule, roughly every twenty-four hours, and I've made a habit of absorbing as much Vitamin D as humanly possible, on my deck or on the lakeshore for at least twenty minutes a day, when it's warm enough...but, still that nuclear reaction orb in the sky scares the shit out of me when I spend five minutes thinking of how powerful it is and how much it dictates our well-being here on earth. Salutations to the Almighty Sun.