Tuesday, March 30, 2004
Spring break is upon you, and you are probably cruising, beaching, or worse.....skiing. I know that you have learned to enjoy skiing, but I suspect that it's your mother, not you who really enjoys it. After spending an entire winter in snow and cold, why would anyone want to go to a place that has............MORE SNOW??
Skiing was a big Lake Forest thing. The rich kids went to Colorado and Utah, but your mother had to take a bus to Wilmot because her parents were unable or unwilling to spend the money. It always bothered her that she wasn't a rich kid..... she told me that it made her feel "unworthy", and VERY second class.
I hope that you got to go to a place you enjoy. Maybe she who can't afford insurance can't afford to go anywhere for Spring Break.
Laura and I drove over the mountains to the Borrego Desert again last Sunday. Almost all of the flowers were dead. The temperature rose to 99 - 100 degrees on March 26, and it killed most of the flowers. An infestation of caterpillars killed the rest. When we got there, there were only a few flowers, so we explored a different part of the desert.
I think about you all of the time, and when Laura and I go to the desert, I'm reminded of how sensitive your skin was to the sun in Florida. Once, on Siesta Key, I put the top down on the car and we drove to the supermarket (Publix?). By the time we arrived, your scalp was sunburned!
Here are some photos from our trip last Sunday to the Anza Borrego Desert. I'll add more as soon as I reduce their size.
With my Love,
Friday, March 26, 2004
The word is that the desert is blooming more this week than it did last week, so we're going back to the Anza Borrego desert for another look. It's not just the flowers. They are very pretty to see, and are a most unlikely sight in such a place. They provide a convenient excuse for getting out and going on another adventure.
I still haven't seen a rattlesnake out there! I do want to see one...but have no interest in what the beast might be able to do to me if it sees me first! I've had one interaction with one, and not on my terms. It rattled from its vantage point in the knee high scrub, and I flew straight up and about 40 feet straight back.
More to come..........got to plan this trip. Here's something for you....it made me laugh!
If I still lived back there, I'd be filled with a powerful urge to go to the warmth of a cruise in the Caribbean, or at least a week or two on on a powdery white beach in Florida. Since I live in one of the world's 2 best climates, I just walk down to the beach and never need a highway, ship, or airplane. I no longer have to suffer through winters which seem to last most of the year.
Spain or Greece would be nice too, but I'm just a few miles from "el bordero" and I hear too much Spanish as it is. They're both too far away, and I lack the money or frequent flier miles to go anywhere.
I'm actually content.....no, I'm HAPPY right where I am. We can walk to the beach, and within an hour, we can be in the mountains (Big Bear Ski Resort is on fire as I write this). In an hour and a half, we can be in the Anza Borrego desert. In 30 minutes, we can be in Mexico, but WHO would want to go there?
Going across the border to Mexico is a very risky thing to do these days. Americans are being robbed, assaulted, and smugglers are hiding drugs in their cars when they park them. If you don't get assaulted or robbed, you're at risk of being jailed by the Mexican or American authorities when they find drugs hidden in/on your car.
Most of the Mexicans doing the assaulting and robbing seem to be the Mexican police. There seems to be no incentive for them to stop committing either crime. They can make more money from one robbed tourist than they can make all month at their police jobs.
The irony is that the same police are called to investigate their own crimes.
Our solution is easy: "Don't go there", and most of the people we know feel the same way.
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
The Pledge of Allegiance, God, and the meaning of DEMOCRACY.
The following definition is copied directly from Webster's Online Dictionary. It doesn't say that the beliefs of atheists, or those of any other narrow minority group supersede the rights and will of the majority.
It says the exact opposite of that:
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
Main Entry: deÂ·mocÂ·raÂ·cy
Inflected Form(s): plural -cies
Etymology: Middle French democratie, from Late Latin democratia, from Greek dEmokratia, from dEmos + -kratia -cracy
1 a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority
If the beliefs of narrow minorities were ever allowed to supersede the will of the majority, I could claim that the winner of the next election (any election) does not represent my beliefs, and should therefore be removed because his beliefs violate my beliefs......a clear abridgement of something pseudo-Constitutional.
Will someone please show me the exact place where the authors of the Constitution wrote the bit about separation of church and state? I don't think that it was ever written into the Constitution, but was a part of a judicial decision which has ever since been interpreted to mean that there is a Constitutionally proscribed separation between church and state.
I know that atheists pay taxes, but so do a lot of other people who disagree with the government. Being an atheist is not an entitlement to getting your way at the expense of the majority of your fellow citizens.
If no municipal medical facilities were nearby, would an atheist rather die than be taken to a Lutheran Hospital? A Catholic hospital? An Islamic Hospital? A Jewish Hospital? A Methodist Hospital? A Mormon hospital? Any hospital run by any religious organization
Since atheists demand strict interpretation of the law, I wonder if they are equally strict when it comes to living and dying by their own creed.
It is hypocrisy for atheists to allow religion-based hospitals to save their lives when they're dying, and to then decry religion as stupid, and a violation of their Constitutional rights.
I believe that even the most hardcore atheist would prefer that an ambulance took them to ANY hospital, including one whose core and charter violated their atheist beliefs rather than depositing their ailing bodies at the front door to a municipal building, such as a prison, or a courthouse, or a place where people obtain driver's licenses.
Before any atheists go off on another diatribe, I again direct their attention to the definition of "democracy.
1 a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority
(Why do you people not understand that???)
My recommendation to atheists is that they begin to procreate like rats, or cockroaches, and one day, they might be the majority of people, but by then, they will have probably killed democracy, so they still might not get their way.
A atheist whose "denomination" differs from yours might be running the world, and you'd be right back where you are now!
It's a gray day in town today. A 53 year old man visiting from Colorado went swimming with his 17 year old daughter in "The Cove" today. They didn't wear wetsuits because they probably didn't know that they should, and they swam out to the half mile marker. On the way back, the man disappeared. His daughter swam ashore to get help and the place was buzzing with helicopters and TV cameras in a matter of minutes.
That was 5 hours ago, and they still haven't found his body. They swam through a lot of kelp which local swimmers always try to avoid. He could stay tangled in the kelp and never be found. I was down near the cove when it happened, and found it very hard to look at the daughter and her mother. It was harder still when a diver handed a paper bag to a policeman, who walked over to hand it to the man's wife. It was his diving mask.
I'm looking forward to seeing the sun again. A few months ago..........I was tired of seeing the sun and hoped for clouds and rain! Rain has been forecast for the weekend, so I may get my wish after all.
Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Just a little note to say that I'm thinking of you.
Friday, March 19, 2004
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Wednesday, March 17, 2004
I've learned to really enjoy the desert. It's so amazingly free of people that it affords me the time to think about things which are important or interesting to me rather than having to constantly react to things.
I think that's the appeal.
We spend almost all of our days (and lives) reacting to things.............alarm clocks, morning news, microwave ovens beeping, stop lights, turn signals, garbage trucks backing up, telephones ringing, emails, road signs, classes, seeing brand names of cars, televisions, watches , coffee, computers.....almost every product you see is plastered and littered with information. There are endless office meetings, flashing neon signs, more news headlines, advertisements, sirens, and so on.............
We have to endure an absolutely ceaseless torrent of garbage information and so we are depleted and exhausted by having had to process all of it that we drop into the merciful arms of a soft bed and a warming blanket, only to face it again in 5 - 8 hours! Most people don't even know that they're drowning in unnecessary information. They don't even know that they're drowning in anything. Some even think they are being entertained by having all of this crap hurled at them.
The business of information is really not much different than the business of cess pit operations. Nasty, worthless stuff goes in, and you have to pay someone something to put it in, and then you have to pay them again when it comes out.
To counteract the fact that people's senses have been dulled by the attack of information, the purveyors of information add more lights, make the lights even brighter, increase the number of ads, handouts, flyers and billboards, and turn the volume way up.
If you are ever tempted to take a survey, or enter a contest......don't. The information you provide will be used against you in some new scheme to separate you from your money.
Some retreat into a bottle. Some take drugs. I use life's great mute button - by going to the desert.
In the desert, none of those things exist.
In the desert, water and shade are worth more than money. Silence and serenity are free.