Tag Archives: Fun

A Postmortem of the 103rd Congress

You might wish to read the Prelude to this post. Below is a reprint of an article I wrote back in 1997. It was originally titled by me as “Politics as Usual?  It was published by the Columbia Missourian on January 16, 1997, under the title, “Our Busy Congress.”

*****

It’s hard not to notice the political feuds in Congress these days.  On one hand we have President Bill Clinton, the highest-ranking Democrat in the country, immersed in a scandal over accepting illegal campaign contributions.  On the other hand, we have Newt Gingrich, re-elected Speaker of the House, and one of the highest-ranking Republicans in the country, immersed in a scandal over illegal use of legally donated campaign funds. 

For those of you who have managed to remain totally news-free, or in a padded cell for the past two months, it seems the President accepted large contributions (in excess of $2 million) from overseas interests in Asia, and Newt funneled domestic campaign contributions through tax-exempt GOP organizations to sponsor his own politically-oriented college classes.  Clinton returned the money, or so that’s the official position, and Newt followed up his digressions by lying to a Congressional Subcommittee. So now that money is back in Asia, and Newt has admitted to his lies, many people feel everything is just wonderful again. 

Such is politics.

Continue reading A Postmortem of the 103rd Congress

Rabbit Hole Number 2 – Quetzalcoatlus northropi

When I wrote my series on Boquillas, I mentioned that while writing it I went down several “Rabbit Holes” as I did my background research.  The root of this expression, of course, traces back to the book “Alice in Wonderland,” where Alice follows the White Rabbit down his hole and into Wonderland.* 

And one can certainly argue about whether “Wonderland” is the appropriate name for that subterranean realm because Alice’s adventures there don’t seem to be all that marvelous and delightful. 

But that’s another Rabbit Hole that I’ll dodge for the moment.

So here we are, down one of the many side tunnels I ran down when exploring Southern Texas and Northern Mexico.  This one is about an Ancient Legend and an Ancient Pterosaur. 

How did I get here? And how do these two things overlap?

Continue reading Rabbit Hole Number 2 – Quetzalcoatlus northropi

Shuffling the Deck

It is time to change the layout a bit. 

I can rotate the stories I “post” to the top of my page with “post-it notes.”  And from time to time, I feel like it is time to change it up a bit.  Give the cover a different look so to speak.

This time around, I picked stories or poetry of mine that had the highest number of likes.  This is biased because some of my oldest stories really weren’t given much exposure because I didn’t have as many followers at the time they were posted.  Also, giving certain posts more exposure now at the top of the page necessarily fuels the bias.

Nevertheless, this is always fun.  I’ve noticed that readers seem to enjoy the posts that are really expressive, raw, full of emotion, personal, maybe even heart-wrenching, or conversely inspiring.  That makes sense because people have the desire to feel. 

They want to be touched.

I’ll be back with some new posts here pretty soon, but in the meantime, if you haven’t seen these six before, have a look. 😊

In Metta

Photos: These pics are from a dome-roofed structure on the grounds of the Atlantis Hotel in the Bahamas. I was not staying there as a guest. I was merely touring the place. They have no relation to this post at all, except maybe in the context of seeing new things, and being fun 🙂

Hello Dear Friends

Hello to all my friends in cyberspace!  I wanted to apologize for not being around lately.

You see, I’m in the middle of a Walkabout.

Traveling season.

It is a bit different this year since we are confronted with COVID-19.  Social distancing, per se, has not changed in my wilderness hikes, but it has definitely shaped travel and I do miss out on the human contact and story exchanges that I would normally have at the end of the day in some public forum.

I’m changing locations more frequently this year too.

Less of a base camp and more of an eternal romp.

I’ve also been in many places where I’ve had no connectivity.   Being unplugged does have some nice advantages.  For one, I’ve not missed all of the hateful commentary perfusing the Net.  I’ve also been able to meditate easier, although one can travel internally too far if one is not careful.

I’ll write that story later and tell about how Mother Earth dramatically called my attention to it and how I needed to be “grounded.”  Still healing . . .

On a metaphysical level, for the past couple of years, the Bear has been visiting me in various forms.  And this continues with a new materialization this season.  I’ve recently been blessed with watching some Elephant Seals and I discovered that Marine Mammals, known as “Pinnipeds,” or the “Fin-Footed Ones,” all descend from a common Ancestor called “Enaliarctos.”

Which means “Bear of the Sea.”

It had Bear-like teeth and used flippers to swim.

Apparently the Spanish settlers in California called Pinnipeds “Lobos Marinos.” Or, “Sea Wolfs.”

So comparisons to land mammals is how we land creatures relate.  At least we recognized the power of these mighty apex predators.

Whatever you wish to call them, they are amazing.  Breathing and breeding on land, spending months in motion amongst the waves on the hunt, and being able to withstand the ocean’s crushing pressures for extended periods.  Quite the adaptations.

Us Two-Leggeds might learn a thing or two from these guys.

So anyway, I am crafting stories in my head as I go, but it will be a little while before I get them on “paper.”

Please don’t disappear or give up on me.  I will return . . .

LOGOz

Photo: The Pale Evening Primrose.  I encountered these beauties in the bottom of the Grand Canyon.  They are armed with very sharp thorns.  The Beauty and the Beast 🙂

1-Wildflower - Pale Evening Primrose - 1+C1

Where is “Away?”

I think I was about six years old when one of my brothers and I decided to run away from home.

Was this foreshadowing?

I have two brothers, and the one closest in age to me had gotten into some spat with my mom.  Dad, the Lieutenant Colonel, was at the Air Base working, and I’ve no doubt that it was my brother who had misbehaved.  He wasn’t taking the motherly admonishment too well.  And there is always that dreaded, “Wait until your father gets home” threat.

Dad was the enforcer.

Continue reading Where is “Away?”

New Day

Storms don’t exactly sneak up on you in the Midwest.  Unless you’re sleeping.

They hem and haw.  Fronts drift in.  Stagnate.  Advance.  Stall.  Pick up again.  Sort of unfold in slow-mo.

Certainly not like the Thunder Boomers out West.

Although we do get that occasional freight train.  Those tornadic, counter-clockwise winds that sweep in so fast no one can prepare.   In fact, if you witness them, it is sort of hypnotizing.  Like a snake hypnotizes its prey.

For the average storm here, the wind picks up, the temperature drops, and sometimes, you can see that clearly demarcated line of clouds advancing.  That gray-blue, dark-clouded front-line meeting clear, blue sky, perhaps with its wisps of white cirrus clouds.  But it’s when the temperature drops that you really know it’s about to hit.

Along with that unmistakable fragrance that suddenly permeates the atmosphere.

Continue reading New Day

Open Range – Revisited

Intro:  I wrote this story back in 1993, describing some of my time on the road between 1978 and 1980.  I had packed up and bugged out after a little run-in with the law.

Something sparked the memory, and I dug out a copy of the publication it appeared in at the time – “Out Your Backdoor.”

I found it fun to look back at my writing style then.  Not that much different from today.

I was trying to break into freelance writing and looking for small publications that would pick up an article – payment was usually a couple copies of the newsletter, magazine, or journal, or whatever print media it might have been.

With a few minor edits, here it be . . .

*****

Continue reading Open Range – Revisited

A Little “Tude” Please

Well, as language continues to evolve, or devolve, there’s nothing “cooler” than shortening words for effect. 😊  It also takes less energy and effort.  I mean, why bother with all those syllables and pronunciation, right?

There’s also a connotation that sticks with these phrases.  These monotone soundbites.

Today’s example is “tude.”  The short version of “attitude.”  And it’s usually with the negative connotation.  “So, what’s with all the tude man?”  “Too early in the day for that kind of tude.”

I’m sure you’ve heard it before.

Continue reading A Little “Tude” Please

The Club 66

There is always a struggle in a writer’s mind about just what to write about.  We want our posts to be meaningful in some way, although the definition of meaningful may vary from day-to-day.  And lately, I’ve taken a little rest from writing.  It’s not because I don’t have stories to tell, it’s just trying to decide which I want to tell, and how I want to tell them, and if they’re relevant, and would a reader enjoy them?

Those are big questions, and I don’t have any answers for any of them this morning.  But I need to write.

It’s sort of an addiction and I’m in withdrawals.

Continue reading The Club 66

Time for Review ?

Time is slipping away, and as we approach the end of another year it’s time for people to engage in reflection, projection, and resolution.

Some are already referring to this as being the end of a decade.  And they’re glad for it, calling it one big dumpster fire.

To others, it’s the end of another year of tumultuous political machinations.  Or perhaps, a role call of all those who died, famous and infamous, loved and unloved.

Others find victimization, trauma, sadness, and are truly heartbroken.

And to others still, it has been just another amalgamation of meaningless seconds ticking away on the clock of the Universe.

Continue reading Time for Review ?

Requests Anyone?

Blogging is an interesting pastime.

For many of us, it’s a way to hone our skills as writers and explore a whole range of topics.  It can even be a testing ground for materials we wish to write about, like a future book, or for just good old-fashioned storytelling.

For some, it’s even a way to make a living.

Well, yesterday, one of my blogging friends asked me to address a particular topic.  Marriage.  And to do so from the perspective of a father giving advice to a son that is of marriage age or is considering marriage.  He wants to hear the “truth.”

And I can certainly do this, but I fear it may be a bit controversial.

Continue reading Requests Anyone?

Cross Over – Into the FIRE

Now that I’m retired, I’ve been sharing time, and stories, with my fellow retirees.  I can tell you one thing in common between us.  We are all much happier than we were during the days of our productive employment, even if we were working on one of those lofty, feel-good, society-serving, professional pathways.  Things are much better now.

Simply put, we have a lot less crap to deal with.

And the people we used to work with often stymied our ability to live up to our maximum potential, or to serve our target population to that full potential.

We fought the good-fight, but we didn’t often win.

And now that I’m retired, I keep seeing a billion articles about retirement and what resources you need to retire plastered all over the Internet.  I’m seeing these as a result of targeted ads, I’m sure, but if you stop and read any of these posts the common wisdom you can derive is that neither I, nor any of my retired friends, could possibly afford being out of the workforce.

We all must be starving to death.

Continue reading Cross Over – Into the FIRE