Saturday, October 04, 2008

Seasonal Indicator

It rained in Olympia yesterday, a steady, sometimes hard rain. Last night was Art Walk and Olympians were out in full rain gear for the event. This morning is wet and gray with more rain today, partly cloudy and showers predicted the next week.

The weather is news only in that it signals change of seasons. We've not had this kind of rain since maybe June. Just as the first 100 degree day signals summer's coming in the Arizona desert, the first steady rain means fall, winter and dark here in the northwest. Trees are still in full foliage but colors are changing, more and more each day. Leaves are beginning to fall and mornings are completely dark when I wake up these days. We may still have some spectacular sunny dry days left in 2008 but those days will be all the more spectacular for their infrequancy.

Bring it on! I have a quarter century of desert dehydration to make up, decent rain gear and fenders on my bike.


Friday, October 03, 2008

American Business 2008

The headline says it all. US to sell $6bn in arms to Taiwan. America sells weapons. Not schools. Not vaccines and medicines. Weapons. Implements whose only purpose is to destroy. Our contribution to "help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance and economic progress in the region".

Pox Americana.


Monday, September 29, 2008

The Truth is Out There

...for anyone willing to make the effort. Chalmers Johnson has the goods on America's wasteful spending habits.


29 September 2002

This day six years ago was my longest day on the Appalachian Trail. I walked 24.9 miles from Rainbow Stream lean-to to Katahdin Stream Campground. The day was only planned as a 15 mile walk but when I and my partners got to Abol Bridge we saw that the following day was forecast to be sunny with a chance of rain the next day. Since that next day was supposed to include climbing to Katahdin summit, the final leg of our 2,100 mile hike, we decided to take no chances that bad weather would close the summit. So we walked the extra 10 miles in the late afternoon of a fine Maine day. The walk was a long one, but it got us to the mountain's base in time for a next morning ascent. Pure fucking adrenalin.


Sunday, September 28, 2008


Olympia to Chicago and Madison, Wisconsin was fun. Chicago is one of the great national engineering and architecture accomplishments. Maggie and I traveled through its canyons and lakefront on a bright, sunny day craning our necks trying to take it all in. We spent several excellent days just north of Chicago, enjoying hospitality from a friend who served with me in Vietnam and rode the train into the city. Just that little sliver of Chicago's daily commotion tells me it is a significant place in the nation and the world. Lake Michigan looks like the ocean. Madison is much smaller, a lively state capitol with a stunningly grand capital building and a Big 10 university. Maggie and I spent a lot of time craning our necks looking into vaulted ceilings in the capital building and marveled at the detail and grandeur everywhere. State Street connects to the University of Wisconsin and the Lake Mendotta waterfront. The 150 miles between the two cities is pleasant rolling land punctuated by small, neat towns. Lots of corn.