Archive for the ‘personal essay’ Category

Too often, I don’t sit down until 10 p.m. to start a blog post, with every intent that it will only take a “few minutes.”

But, all too often, by the time I choose a topic, do some web research (otherwise known as stealing the work of others), select some appropriate pictures or graphics (otherwise known as stealing the work of others), and add a modicum of clever and evocative prose, damn if it’s not one or two in the middle of the effing night.

It ain’t gonna happen this night.

I am constantly clipping stuff out of the newspaper (remember those) and magazines (while they are still in existence) and I end up with Piles-o-Shit all over my desk.

Well, tonight I happened to pick up one clipping that listed a YouTube video, which is linked below.

This “event” occurred this past March in the Antwerp, Belgium, Central train station. Apparently the “flash mob” had only a couple of practices.

I will not pad or plump this simple, yet amazing item, as it stands alone as testament as to what the human spirit is capable of when people want to do something just to make others smile.

This made me smile.


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                         The basis of a healthy diet.

Well, that title isn’t quite 100% accurate.

No, duh, eh!

Actually, Barrack is asking me to bring IN the garbage

In off our streets; in off our neighborhood spaces; and in off our planet.

It’s not too late to participate in Obama’s call today for a National Day of Service.

This, on Martin Luther King Day, we are all being asked to pitch in to clean up the mess.

You know what mess I’m talking about.

The better half of the operation.

And as for the measly four miles of road that my wife and I spent a few hours scouring for trash and a few redeemable cans and bottles, Obama’s call doesn’t end today.

“Damn, you mean I’m not done saving the planet with three hours every eight years?!?”

Let’s just call this the beginning of a bigger task.

Interestingly, our bucolic country neighborhood seems to have a propensity for Marlboro cigarettes, Skoal chewing tobacco, and–big surprise–lots of Budweiser: that, along with a few empty bottles of vodka and whiskey.

Gee…tobacco products and liquor.

Any wonder they tax that stuff so heavily?

And check out the picture, above. Given the National call for Service, how weird was it that I found a broken plate along the road that was Red, White, and Blue.

Your efforts need not be limited to our domestic borders.

So for you far-out vababonders, bend over…and pick up that butt…no, not that one;

The one still smoldering along the road.

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I can only imagine

I had another blog post ready to go for today, but given the events as of last night it seemed more appropriate to bask in the historic nature of this transformational time in our history.

Since this is a global adventure humor blog site, and, by design, not a political one (there certainly are enough of those out there already) I thought it more appropriate to think about what it all means in terms of global travel.

How will this affect we Americans in our travels outside the shores of this country?

And will the many Americans who are out there, already on the the roads of far-off locales, see changes in their interactions with the people they meet, both natives and travelers from other countries?

What new travel opportunities will arise?

Will some countries become “more safe?”

But most importantly from a purely selfish standpoint–please, please…I really want to go to Cuba without looking over my shoulder for retribution by governmental officials from my own country.

Just let him get on base.

I mean…really, how threatening does this 82 year old guy look to you–even when he is packing wood?

At least get me there before Starbucks and McDonalds invades that forbidden country of compelling music and well kempt classic American automobiles.

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                                                                    cutting it up along the shore

Adrift by choice.

Our mission was a car camping outing to Eagle Lake in northeast California.  The target area was the great basin rangeland, high desert north shore (compared to the timbered south shore) of the second largest natural lake entirely in California.

I promised a mission report. From what I can recall of the weekend, here is my account of the good time had by all.

First, I must report we are missing a gallon of Absolut vodka and a case of Tabasco-brand Blood Mary mix.

But then again, it was a pretty large crowd of aging hippies and their adult-aged kids along with their friends and a few good dogs. (The friends hit the BM’s pretty hard, but I never did see the dogs imbibe.)

Seduced once again by the Blue Bottle

The car camping trip went well, the only casualty being the aforementioned vodka and mix, along with multiple cases of Pacifico beer; a half dozen bottles of wine and; of course, a good portion of my Bombay Sapphire Blue Bottle.

Any other mood altering enhancements cannot be confirmed or denied.

But the story doesn’t start with the lakeside hydration activities.

Car camping–or in today’s era–sports utility vehicle camping begins a few days before pulling out on to the highways of northern California. There are lists to be written; stuff–lots of stuff–to be organized and packed; shopping to be done; gas to be purchased (forgoing next months rent); and then it’s time to hit the road.

Our plan, as always, was to leave at the crack of dawn.  We were successful, but only if you consider that it was the crack of dawn in Beijing (rather than the late morning hour of the actual local time zone).

I have a question about the other drivers out on the open road, specifically on the typical state highway with two lanes going each direction.

Exactly how is it that my left turn signal is somehow directly connected to the accelerator pedal of the car a half a mile behind me?

It is my observation that often when I signal a move from the right, or slow, lane and into the left, or fast lane to safely pass a slower driving vehicle, that car back there in the fast lane unmistakably and noticeably speeds up to close the gap.

Hmmm, must be a malfunction of that new fangled “drive by wire” digital electronic engine control system. I mean, what else could it be?!?

Smooth move - nice form.

Must be time to pull off the interstate highway (I-5) for lunch. 

While I don’t profess to be a health food fanatic, I generally eat good stuff from fresh, local ingredients (one benefit from living in the central valley of California). 

But why is it my diet goes out the car window on a road trip?

We stopped in Red Bluff at a nondescript local restaurant–which seemed to have many diners who spent more time at the body art shop and making babies than at the dentist.

True to form, I ordered a chicken fried steak laden with thick, creamy country gravy (and how that differs from city gravy, I have no idea).

I don’t know what is worse: that accumulation of calories, cholesterol, and grease or the fact that for much of my adult life I thought that was really chicken under that pool of brown, congealed liquid.

My wife sampled a small bite and exclaimed,

“Totally nasty…I love it!”

These iconic eating establishments–where waitresses still call their customers “hon”–connect much of this country and have not changed considerably for most of my traveling life.

The typical clientele consists of families taking a break from the miles of concrete, working men–many who feel it necessary to share Nextel phone conversations with everyone within earshot, and older couples taking advantage of the senior citizen discount. Bloody Mary anyone

I wondered if one couple sitting near us was providing a perspective into our future with the wife dutifully cutting up her husbands waffle into bite-sized pieces while the old guy was literally drooling down his chin and onto his lap.

Enough of that glimpse at Americana and my likely not-too-distant future.

After about six hours we made it to Windsurfer Beach, along the north shore of Eagle Lake. Other than a bigger beach (due to a lower lake level) the place has not changed much in over two decades.

One of my first tasks was to crack open a microbrew. My younger daughter gave me these really cool Reef sandals with a bottle opener on the bottom.  My older daughter, always the observant one, questioned the intelligence of opening a beer with a shoe sole that has shared the ground with an occasional cow-poop patty, by stating,

“Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”

Well-put, older daughter.  The beer tasted fine to me, as did the second, as did the third.

Come nightfall, with no moon visible, the number and clarity of the stars was beyond spectacular.  The Milky Way looked like white strands of cotton candy stretched across the evening sky.

Horse shoes without the horse or shoes And after what is nowadays a typical night with one or more trips outside the tent to rid myself of those beers and then up in the morning to meet my obligation to have coffee brewed and ready for the wife-person when she rises, I understood the inescapable truth that I may be getting close to being too old to crawl in and out of a tent and sleep on a rock hard ground covered with sticks and stones (which apparently really do hurt my body).

But standing alone by the camp table firing up the Coleman stove gave me a private showing of a dozen massive white pelicans as they effortlessly glided along the edge of the lake, barely off the water, tinted pink with the slowly rising sun.

The second night, under the same brightly lit dark sky, provided the perfect setting for our mini-drum circle, consisting of one small, homemade conga drum and a yellow, plastic 5-gallon paint bucket (my instrument of choice for the evening).

Worth fighting for

I neglected to mention one additional liquid refreshment that was enjoyed by only a few.  Based on a call to arms by the eminent Mt. Shasta-area expert of beer battles (oh yeah, he apparently knows a fair bit about fly fishing, too) I requested our friends from that area to please purchase and deliver a six-pack of a particular good porter produced by a brewery under fire from the federal government (yes, ours) over a little name issue.

While I may not be the political activist of some of my brethren from the 70’s at Cal Berkeley, there are some battles worth fighting. 

This beer is THAT good.

Stay tuned for my upcoming list on the top ten best inventions for car camping.

That is if I don’t end up falling asleep in the recliner–again–drooling over myself and forgetting.

                                                               leech check

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                               Flying Fortress

The title is not exactly a Catch-22, but it may answer some questions.

BREAKING NEWS: While our lives may sometimes seem linear, they are probably a lot more circular than we often think.

Or maybe to paraphrase an oft-repeated cliché, “What goes around…goes around some more.”

Call it part of the galactic interconnectedness of cosmic interrelated reality, or at least what passes for it.

This story started out about a flight of fantasy that became a flight of fabulous fun–with the exception of a slight WW II-related injury.

As I connected a few dots of this story, and some history–both recent and distant–the story truly etched a circle of  my life.

For many years I have said that one of the most incomputable influences in my formative years was having read Joseph Heller’s iconic novel on the lunacy of war, the venerable Catch-22

The Catch-22 movie plane.

The book, which came out in 1961, was followed in 1970 by the release of a movie version, under the same title.

But it was only within the last few weeks that I finally viewed the movie version, which came out 38 years ago.

Like many people–mostly of the male variety–I am enamored with movie scenes of warplanes with loud engines engaged in mind grabbing action. So in addition to being saturated with the satire of the Catch-22 story line, my rapt attention was drawn to all of the old World War II bombers.

Up until this week, I really could not tell one bomber from another.

So, as part of this connectedness, a news clip on the morning entertainment/news show last Monday featured a piece of an event coming to a neighborhood near you, which showcases a number of classic WW II aircraft that, for a tax deductible, set-donation, puts you in the rear gunner’s position or bombardier’s seat. 

The Wings of Freedom traveling air show includes a number of revered bombers and the instantly recognizable P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft.

One of those planes is the B-25, pictured on the right, in which Catch-22’s Yossarian was clearly traumatized by the frequent flak–and an occasional empty parachute pack (you’ll have to watch the movie, but it involves eggs).

Back from Berlin, the famous 9-0-9

Another plane that was holding a stately pose on the tarmac was one of the true workhorses of that war, the B-17 Flying Fortress. 

This was the Hummer of the air with almost 5,000 horsepower and a reputation of solid construction.

The B-17 is the plane pictured on top and to the left.

As it happened the day I drove out was just to look at the planes sitting on the ground (‘honest, dear…”).

It was the last day the small air force was to visit our local airport and the only plane they were taking paying passengers up in was the one on the left, the historically significant Nine-O-Nine (the name came from the last three numbers on the tail).

After hemming and hawing for way too long, I decided if I passed up an opportunity to actually fly in this rumbling beautiful beast I would certainly have to give up the “adventure” part of my supposed and self-applied title of “global adventure humor writer.”

So out came the credit card!

(“Dear…it’s all a write-off“, as Kramer would tell Jerry.)

Before crawling up into the smallish rear hatch, a safety briefing was given with the following warnings:

Do not step on to the bomb bay doors while in flight. They will open with 100 pounds of weight.

(Who weighs under 100 pounds, nowadays?!?)

Do not lean on the rear hatch cover. It will open with the same 100 pounds of weight.


At no time, while in flight, should you grab the extensive system of flight control cables that run along the entire length of the fuselage. If you do, YOU will be flying the plane.

(The crewman said this did once happen, but they did not really explain what to do if you got buffeted while traversing the really narrow gangplank through the bomb bay and you had to choose between stepping on the bomb bay doors or grabbing a handful of cables. I guess if it’s the former you could reenact the closing scene of Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove. “Ahhhheeeeee!”)

B-17 airborne shadow

So after we were all buckled in–sort of– the four powerful Wright reciprocating engines were started, which briefly wafted smoke through the cabin, and then we rumbled down the runway and we were off.

We all took turns crawling on our knees, squeezing around gun turrets in the middle of the belly and tip-toeing down the 70 foot+ of this bomber and into the clear nose area (see the picture above) that housed both a .50 caliber machine gun and the then-top secret, highly accurate Norden bombsight.

The picture to the right is the view looking down as we flew over Cache Creek, where you can see the airplane’s shadow on the ground, below, and part of the bombsight to the right.

As we continue to draw the circle, the creek is the venue for tomorrow’s Creek Walk that I mentioned well before I knew of this possible flight.


Coincidence?  I think not.

But wait…there’s more.

In order to provide, you, the valued reader (value based on having such a small number–the few I gots are priceless) with fair and balanced reporting (wait…that’s not even funny) I went home–albeit with that one small WW II-related injury (I bumped my head trying to avoid stepping on or grabbing something that could kill me)–and hit the books, or what passes for a book anymore…The Google – Wikipedia Informational Complex).

I decided to learn more about the namesake of the B-17 that I was privileged to fly in, even if it was for a relatively short mission. What I did not know until I conducted my in-depth research was that the original Nine-O-Nine was retired in 1945. This was after dropping over HALF A MILLION pounds of bombs, much of that over Berlin, Germany. The 9-0-9 had a record for having made the most missions AND having never lost a crewman as a casualty.

The more to this part of the story is that my father was born and raised in Berlin, Germany–even having attended the 1936 Olympics wherein Jesse Owens thoroughly embarrassed Der Fuhrer. But my dad escaped Nazi persecution in 1939 by immigrating, along with 14,000 others, to Shanghai, China (controlled then by Japan).

So, here I was last Monday, flying in the namesake of the plane that repeatedly bombed Berlin, where my dad had only left five years previous.

The plane–or an exact replica of same–that I was flying in, could have been responsible for killing the person (with obvious assistance from my mom; also from Germany, but not Berlin) that allowed me to even be in that plane, so to speak.

Whoa! I think I just blew my mind!  Am I in the Twilight Zone?

So, are we done?

Well, how about one more.

Regarding the Zohan reference in the post title: he is an ex-Mosad agent. The Mosad are from Israel, where I currently have relatives living.

Last fall I sailed in the Baja Ha Ha sailboat race from San Diego, CA to Cabo, Mexico. After over one week at sea we looked forward to anchoring off of Cabo so we could hit the bars. But, you see, they were filming this movie and needed a clear sight-shot out into the ocean; right over our anchorage. So we had to motor around while the chilled cervazas were within sight.

                                                      You're lucky I'm only shooting blanks. 

The movie?

Yup, you guessed it.

Damn youuu, Adam Sandler.

He is lucky I was not airborne in the Nine-O-Nine, fondling my .50 caliber.



So is anybody down there littering Cache Creek?

I guess they are lucky that I am only shooting blanks nowadays.

That, and the gun doesn’t have real bullets, either.

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The last full day of a vacation is typically not much of a vacation.

Packing the bags to go home is often a struggle to find room for the same stuff that you brought with you, which somehow seems to have magically expanded in volume.  Part of this apparent proliferation of possessions may be due to the huge bag stuffed with loosely piled dirty laundry that made the voyage en route tightly packed in neat stacks and rolled up clothes.

Add to that all the valuable trinkets which looked so good in the craft store or from that street/beach vendor that was, oh, so cute, as well as T-shirts–often with slogans that sounded really funny after a few cervezas but that your wife will never let you wear out of the house–so now you’re really packing a load.

Hopefully that last day you fit in one last swim or some other vacation-related activity so at least you can pretend you are still on vacation and not remind yourself that you are really in the transitional mode that is taking you back to the realities of home and work responsibilities.  Too much cerveza.

This is the time that you should reflect on all the things you did–as far as you can remember–that you would never do at home following the old adage, “What happens in _________ (insert vacation destination), stays in _________ (ditto).”

If you can distract yourself enough maybe you won’t be thinking about how many hours before your flight leaves you will be spending getting to the airport and how close you might be to missing your international flight departure because you think the recommended three hours prior to the flight is ridiculous.

You can see which people on the plane want to extend their perception of being on a trip by the tank tops, shorts, and sandals they are wearing even though they are flying home someplace where the weather is rain, sleet, and/or snow.

But is should not be a time to start worrying about how far you have strayed from your normal routine of exercise and relatively good eating habits. You have managed to avoid that topic until now and now it is a little to late to think how you could have gone for a jog in the mornings and maybe had one less high calorie-high fat meal.

gimme two with the works

Or maybe you are one of those people I see who actually DOES get up early and goes for a run.

And I see in the restaurants ordering salads and mineral water.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to avoid seeing you people and your healthy habits?

Hey, I’m trying hard to enjoy my grande plate and second beer over here.

And dessert is on it’s way.

So today, the day before our exodus, we pack and try to balance an attempt to fit in any activities or places to go that we really wanted to hit, and at the same time try to do nothing as it will be the last time, for some time, that we have that privilege.

If you have following along with me for a while you will know that this blogging thing is a whole new world to me and for the last two weeks I have attempted to provide you with a taste of Baja–one of my favorite places on earth.

And yesterday I went on a dive boat trip that was the mother-of-all dive boat trips. That story will be coming to a blog near you in the near future, but it will include sights of the high seas that people only dream of seeing.

Just be happy you have not been with me during that time when I insisted on constantly taking pictures–without annoying people more than I usually do–and gathering blog fodder, to the point where my friends and family just wanted to say to me:

                                                                                                          Shut Up Franks in Todo Santos

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If you have been along the beaches of Mexico, especially around the resort towns, you’ve likely encountered the ubiquitous, hard-working local vendors hawking everything from jewelry to blankets to T-shirts to woodcarvings to ceramics. They typically march back and forth among the tourists while holding up their wares, usually hearing a chorus of “gracias, no” but hoping to enlist at least a faint glimmer of interest that will start the bartering process. 

beach vendor

If someone sits up and peruses the offerings and then shows interest in a particular item, it is pretty much expected that the tourist will offer somewhere in the neighborhood of half what the vendor states as the price.

And then the negotiations begin.

A responsible traveler will “play the game” but then eventually let the vendor take home a decent earning from their efforts.  It takes only a quick look at their worn clothes, barely running old cars and trucks and a look where the locals live along the side streets-set well back from the beaches and resorts-to appreciate the vast difference in the standard of living between the tourists and the locals.

The responsible behavior, of course, is not always the way it goes. Eventually you will witness what I consider an embarrassing situation that does paint a very nice picture of us visitors.

Loud, over-bearing behavior-often fueled by too many margaritas-from people who are apparently oblivious or who feel entitled, can turn bartering into bitchiness.

My first trip to Mexico, many years ago, was to an all-inclusive resort in Puerto Vallarta, which included all the liquor you could drink.  Some people were apparently trying to get their money’s worth in their share of the drinks alone.

It was not a pretty sight.

Think drunk tourist, face down on the beach well before noon, and fire engine red skin with a severe sunburn by the second day.

Yesterday afternoon, down here in southern Baja, I watched and listened with amusement and disdain to the group next to us engaging in the age-old act of bartering-at least I assumed that was what was going on.  One woman, who apparently was trying on numerous items of clothing and jewelry but spending most of the almost one hour process explaining how cheap she saw the same stuff, ironically, in Puerto Vallarta, and asking if the vendor knew of any “rich Mexicans” (while mentioning her husband that she left back home). And, probably not ironically, she appeared to have had more in her plastic drinking cup than agua.

With one vendor, who sounded like he spoke English very well, the woman asked if he could bring over a rich “cab-a-ler-o”-which was her pronunciation for caballero (“cab-a-yer-o”). In the meantime, two other vendors patiently stood by , one even checking his watch, until they got bored or tired and slowly walked off, rocking back-and-forth, burdened with the heavy pack of clothes and blankets on their backs.

I honestly think that the woman never bought a damn thing.

Also, I don’t think they were particularly impressed when looking at one item, she said “I paid $8 for that at Wal-Mart.”

I know I wasn’t.

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“Where’s the beef?”

That refrain was heard from half our table when their order Nachos Supreme came without any.

And without salsa, peppers, and guacamole.

What was requested was an order simply without cheese.

So you might say, the Supreme part of the Nachos was lost in translation.

Doing things in Mexico is different than doing things at home.

But for many of us, that is one of the attractions in heading south, in the first place.The road to Punta Pescaderos starts here.

That is not to say one place is better than the other; they are just different.

Of course, you can always find an occasional foreigner down here – which includes us Americans – who somehow have the notion that things should be the same as they are at home and then proceed to let waiters, hotel staff, store owners, etc. know it.

For those of you old enough to remember the phrase “ugly American“, in the worst of cases some people tend to forget they are in another country with their own sovereign values, norms and traditions; not ours.

Oh yeah, and there’s that language difference: I am pretty sure that there are some “tourists” that think that if these people want our money, by God, they should learn how to speak our language.

But of course we accepted the “Nachos-lite” as part of the joy of travel in a foreign land and just ordered “uno mas Pacifico con limon’.”

Driving in Mexico, specifically in Baja – where I have done the most driving south of the border – it is not all that road south of Punta Pescaderos different from driving the back logging and ranch roads I have driven countless hours in the western U.S.

But down here – here being southern Baja for the moment – the rough, barely one lane-narrow, rock-strewn roads with steep drop-offs, sans guardrails, is pretty much the accepted condition, along with the all-to-common wash-outs in the arroyos. 

And with the ailing economy back home and the declining budgets to support the sagging infrastructure – in other words the roads and bridges are all falling down – we may not be too far behind. Better make sure that hybrid has high clearance.

Punta Pescaderos is not a particularly easy place to get to, unless maybe you have a fast twin-engine plane – and can hopefully land better than that guy last year with his Lear Jet who drove the landing gear into the fuselage – but really special places rarely are easy.

punta pescaderos beach

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How long has it been since there has been such a proliferation in adventure travel of a nature that death or debilitating personal injury is better than a 50-50 proposition?

And please tell me exactly what is the tremendous attraction to these activities.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’ll take an adrenaline fix with as much a rush as the next guy – or gal, but under most circumstances I would like at least a fair shake at being able to repeat the innervation again some other day.

What brought this thought to mind was a tiny news item buried back in my local newspaper yesterday that basically gave the following facts:

1. Guy, who happens to be named Markus, pays for a Scuba diving trip to see sharks.Shark doing what sharks do.

2. Guy’s choice of commercial diving company – Scuba Adventures – chums the water with bloody fish parts to attract said sharks.

3. Guy is in the water waiting for said sharks: no shark cage.

4. Guy gets close up view as said sharks show up.

5. Guy is dead.

No really…this actually happened. Read the story for  yourself.

Now, I’m not saying this guy is a shoe-in for a Darwin Award but…WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?!?

Sharks have teeth – lots of teeth – and their function in the grand scheme of things is to kill some form of meat – mammal, fish, and yes, ocasionally a surfer or diver.

You certainly cannot blame the shark for doing what they do best…survive.

I could provide a litany of many other instances of so-called adventure, or extreme, travel where I personally would question the cost-benefit ratio of the thrill of the activity vs. the likely – and sometimes very bad – outcome.

I am a firm believer that if you want to go out in a blaze of glory, have at it.  Just don’t create any collateral damage, whether they be friends or first responders trying to put out your fire.

In the case of Markus, I strongly suspect that he did not plan to make this his last dive.

Ironically Markus was a lawyer; I would guess he has – or had – lawyer friends.

If I was Scuba Adventures I would probably get a lawyer myself. A really good lawyer.

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Spend any amount of time behind the wheel and you have and will again be inconvenienced by some form of road blockage or detour, whether caused by an accident, road construction, and sometimes a fire.

This was the case this morning, as I made good on an early departure to head up Hwy 50 to my current winter mistress – Heavenly Valley ski resort. While it would be dishonest to not admit that I caught the morning TV news report of Highway 50 being completely closed due to a structure fire.  After a careful calculation as to my driving time and factoring the likely time it takes to extinguish a typical cabin fire I made the decision to a) head up the road and b) not make a feasible mid-course correction by selecting an alternate target, such as my ‘winter-ex’, Kirkwood.

And that is how I ended up sitting in a line of traffic longer than a string of buses trying to get to the next Barack Obama lovefest (well, maybe not quite THAT long).

look out below! While sitting there forlorn I was occasionally interrupted by a snowbomb of powder from yesterday’s dumpage succumbing to the affect of the warming morning sun and gravity and landing next to my truck in an explosion of fluffy powder – that I was supposed to be skiing in by now, damn it – that briefly floated skyward until dissipating and disappearing. 

And while sitting there I got to thinking about how we – or at least I – often gauge the level of empathy for the victim’s plight that caused the delay in my well made plans as a function of that person’s culpability in exactly what caused the problem in the first place.

In the case of a car accident, was some poor soul run off the road by some dunderhead who was tailgating, passing on blind curves and cutting in too abruptly or was the driver of the questionable driving civility the one in the ditch – and probably someone not wearing a seat belt…while tuning the radio…and checking the GPS…and…well, we’re certainly not going to feel sorry for HIM!

Or in a home fire, was the cause a lousy heater installation by the last owner or did the current occupant get drunk and fall asleep while smoking. You get the idea.

Not only do we temper the extent of our sorrow for the person’s predicament based on the blame as we care to assign it, but it also has a direct affect as to the amount of our annoyance for not getting where we are going.

So while I sat there thinking, how dare someone cause me a delay for around an hour in hitting the slopes, I remembered that someone just lost a home, which is arguably the biggest bastion of our personal security and comfort, likely along with years of family pictures and possessions that remind us of where we have been and with whom.

Dos Equis in the sky

My skis did make it on the mountain – albeit a little later than planned – and there it was, placed as a celestial clue to chill out – have a beer, and  appreciate that my morning misfortune was miniscule.


All in all a very nice day, indeed.





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