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Showing posts from July, 2009

On Rock Climbing and marriage

The second honeymoon (10 years later)was sort of a revisit of the first honeymoon. We spent the first one in Maine and Nova Scotia and ended the experience angry at each other (who angrily mumbles "Fuck off" to his new bride? Unfortunately, I did.) This time around we stayed in the states--Massachusetts and New Hampshire--and we didn't end the trip safe in the rough arms of wrath.
One of the highlights of the trip was our climbing Rumney Rocks in NH, an internationally recognized sport climbing spot--truly! We heard some variation of German, some east Asian language, French, and a few others spoken while there.
Of course physical effort is required, but just as importantly, or perhaps more so is the mental aspect of climbing. Each step and handhold must be thought out and care must be taken to not accept defeat. After several hours of climbing, the physical can trump the mental and one can surrender to the mountain. The reverse is true too; it can appear that there …

A secret to easy beekeeping?

Wear contacts. Oh, I can't express the ease that wearing contacts brings. Instead of having glasses slip off my sweat-slicked face and causing me to clumsily put them back on while keeping my veil on, I now have no such problem. Thanks Mr. (or is it Ms./Mrs.?) contact lens inventor.
The bees? Oh, one hive is exploding and I should easily harvest 30+ pounds of honey next month. The other hive? Not so good. But batting .500 is fantastic.

NGO reports firefly population down in Redford

Not really, but I observe less lightning bugs this summer than in seasons past. I don't think there is any connection with the wet spring because we had an even wetter spring a few years back and I don't recall seeing less fireflies then. I also have spotted very few June bugs. A funny thing about Redford is the absence of stag beetles. Growing up in Ferndale, which is only a 15 minute drive away, my friends and I collected scads of them (how much is a scad? Unknown unit of measure) that we used to fight them. Unfortunately, poison ivy is strong along the banks of the Upper Rouge and garlic mustard has been found growing in my yard. What's growing in your yard?

Food, Inc.

What happens when a people make efficiency the highest priority with regards to their food supply? Why you get 21st century America. The documentary Food, Inc. covers quite a bit of ground in its 94 minutes, the result is nothing new if you've been following this issue for several years. That isn't necessarily a bad thing; if you are new to the ways of understanding how food is grown, distributed, and consumed in the U.S. then director Robert Kenner's film is as good a place as any to start. He includes statistics, some dark humor, and some engaging interviews.
The trouble with efficiency, Kenner and many, many others argue, is that you end up with a few companies controlling a centralized food supply that is heavily dependant on petroleum, subsidizes food that is calorie-heavy and nutrient poor, and creates a culture where bad food is cheaper than healthier.
Again, Food, Inc. is good if you are new to this, and even if you aren't new you might find something …

Stretching the writing muscles

Here's an exercise I pulled out of a writer's book I'm looking at (The Writer's Workshop by Gregory Roper). I'm to describe someone. This was supposed to be a page (6.6 on the Word counter (double spaced)). Critical comments are required.

Cai is a speedy ghost—-his pale form and blond hair streak past you jumping, running, climbing on his way to something he’s focused. The freckles smeared across his nose and under his grey eyes lead you to think he’s all summer’s child, yet he was born early in the morn of Christmas Eve. Clouds do roll in when he is frustrated or when he commiserates in empathy with your pain or misery. Then, like the blink of a firefly, as if the painful incident never happened, he’s off to growl with his dinosaurs or storm his castle.
Like most boys he’s full of contrasts: his appetite balanced swinging from glutton to faster almost everyday. Tears drop easily, too easily at times, but a few moments later the emotion disappears like a s…