Harry Dean Stanton, venerable character actor, slipped the guards and went on his merry way yesterday. My old man knew him long before he established a name for himself, and allegedly HDS would watch us toddlers from time to time. I have no recollection of those early years but Harry would always bring his guitar, sez the old man, and serenade anyone within earshot. Continue reading
As might be readily apparent, we are killing time here before flying back home tomorrow. Yesterday we walked in the wine country on the north shore of Lake Geneva near the town of St. Saphorin. This part of Switzerland is low in elevation (about 1,200 feet) and so supports vineyards and wineries.
I noticed that the official growing season begins after September harvest with pruning and removal of older vines, and that it is traditionally on the feast of St. Martin of Tours, which falls on 11/11, or if the much older calendar is used, 9/11. (“Nova” is nine, so that “making a novena” is attendance at nine masses in a row, as all current and fallen-away Catholics know, including those of us who never did one).
The insertion of January and February caused the last ten months to be pushed back two months (so that the last four, Septa, Octa, Nona and Deca, 7, 8, 9 and 10, became 9, 10, 11 and 12 .) Quintilus (fifth month) and Sextillus (sixth month) were renamed July and August, but this did not cause the two-month pushback.
This is from Tolstoy, according to Colin Wilson in the book The Outsider, citing an Eastern fable:
“… a man clings to a shrub on the side of a pit to escape an enraged beast at the top and a dragon at the bottom. Two mice gnaw at the roots of the shrub. Yet while hanging, waiting for death he notices some drops of honey on the leaves of the shrub, and reaches out and licks them.”
Good lord! I realize that by comparison to many I have had an easy life. At the same time, I have had my share of tragedy, as we all must experience to wake up and grow. Through it all I have come out an optimist. There is meaning in life, and death is either the end of consciousness or a continuation of life in some other form … I cannot know but in either case, it does not scare me. Continue reading
I have been waiting for our writer Steve Kelly to jump in in on the forest fires that are burning in Montana and other states. Looking at photos, it seems like a conflagration. People get very upset by them, as green forests are turned to char and dust. However, is a natural process. All of the organic matter is recycled. True, it is not pleasant to walk in a ghost forest, but people will be surprised when it is all over how much forest is still standing. The amount of smoke these fires put out is impressive.
In dinner discussions on the Haute Route, people who learned we are Americans gingerly approached the topic of Donald Trump. The most in-depth conversations were with a young and very intelligent German man, and two people from Wales.
What I learned, and to my mild surprise, is that these folks, just like most Americans, take him at face value. They assume he really is the president, that he really was elected, and that all of his antics intended only for effect are quite real. When I suggested to Allan, the man from Wales, that Melania Trump is just a beard, his wife had to explain the meaning of the term to him. It was a delightful exchange. He is an accomplished man with a great sense of humor, educated in one of the best universities. But I find that virtually all people, no matter the baseline intellect and education, are encased in a hard shell of propaganda. The psyops from Trump to Obama the intellectual juris doctor all work on them. They do not question reality as presented by news.
Traveling and hiking in Switzerland there has been one constant: bad music. A few days ago we were waiting on a tram and did not feel we could leave the building and chance missing it. We felt like prisoners in a psychiatric ward undergoing torture. It was loud, and one bad singer after another assaulted our ears, often enough that throaty and emotive teen-something girl pouring out her deep and bitter angst.
This is written on an iPhone, so will be mercifully short. We are off the Haute Route, tired and smug and self-satisfied, two people in our late sixties climbing and descending thousands of feet, crossing a glacier with fast-running streams and icy banks, enduring seemingly endless rock slides, some unsettled. Magnificent views we had, and wonderful people we met, and we are tired.
The lymph is interstitial fluid that bathes our cells, brings them nutrients and removes waste. First and foremost, detoxification occurs through the lymph. As more chemicals enter our bodies through the air we breathe and the food and water we ingest, maintaining the lymph, a vital route of detoxification often goes unnoticed. In most people the lymph is operating far below its capacity because it is clogged with dead skin cells and un-removed waste excreted by perspiring. Continue reading
Yaak, MT – On Tuesday, August 22, U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is prohibited from reinventing the legal definition of an endangered species.
In 2014, when FWS managers declined to list as endangered the remnant population of grizzly bears that live in Cabinet-Yaak Ecosystem, in northern Idaho and northwest Montana, the agency broke the law. After almost three years of battling the agency in federal court, that crucial decision would ultimately lead to a huge conservation victory for grizzly bears, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the plaintiff, Alliance for the Wild Rockies. Continue reading
In the comments for Maarten’s recent post regarding the flying Yugo, the conversation turned towards the inevitable question of who would participate in such a ruse?
My immediate guess is military personnel. No big headline, that, but it should be stated once again to ward off the suspicion that actual criminals may be involved. The people used in hoaxes have to be reliable, and the notion of a criminal being reliable long term doesn’t really add up, in my opinion. Continue reading