Archive for the ‘Travel’ category

I. FLAG, FOOTBALL, AND DROUGHT

October 7, 2017

Looking out my kitchen window right now, a lively, noisy scene:

f Window

Sunshine.   Cool air.     Fall flowers.   The after-effects of a little rainstorm.   The leaves are changing,  and the wind is blowing.   If you stood outside under a tree,  you’d think it was still raining because the wind blows the raindrops off the leaves and creates a second rainstorm.   Acorns plunk down on the roof and roll all the way down to the ground.

I love Fall,  not the least because it m e a n s  used to mean football.    I always dreaded February because that was the beginning of  the “long drought”  of no football.

Droughts are no fun.  But I see now that they can end;  they can be ended.   Apparently some droughts are a matter of opinion:    Several weeks ago  I left this rather damp northern climate and traveled across the (dry) prairie and the (dry)  Great Plains and the  (dry) high desert, and then to the (very dry)  High Sierras.

f bottle grass

Family and friends who live there high in the mountains have learned to drink water – all the time.   The desert and altitude suck the moisture right out of a person’s body.    Everyone on a bicycle, skateboard, walking, boating was carrying a container of water with him.  Even the children, whether at parties or swimming or playing a game of soccer – when it was their turn to do something,  they would first set their water bottle down in the grass,  go do their thing, then come right back to the water.

“Drought normal.”   I didn’t mind it, but I did have difficulty returning home, where I kept remarking in astonishment – to everyone –  how humid it is!    I could  hardly breathe in the hot and  thick, sticky air!   Needless to say,  they were experiencing “normal”  air, and even corrected me by saying, “It’s been so dry for so long . . .  we need rain . . . our lawns are turning brown.”   (Not that I could see.)

f and ross
So I was able to become philosophical about this drought thing with  football,  the “long wait”  until the next game.    I had returned home right in  the middle of the “disrespect your flag” controversy that some of the football players were perpetrating by making their knees a sign of resistance –  although resistance to what was a movable target.

Betsy Ross and the ladies who sewed our first flags together did so not only believing in the United States of America and all the things the new nation stands for,  but also knowing full well that their men, their loved ones,  might very well be dying for it.

f scott flag“The bombs bursting in air”   gave Francis Scott Key reassurance that the flag was still flying,  but you can see that flag now, in our nation’s capital,  and it’s in tatters.

The price of America is American lives.   It cost us something.   And it still will cost us something in the dread near future.

My Friday morning class was discussing “things in general” for a while,  and although they really aren’t political and they really aren’t too aware of current issues,  they do watch the entertainment-news media — and they all expressed a vague sort of fear for the near future.    That surprised me.   One lady patted her stomach and said, “It’s not very strong, but I feel in here a small sense of  doom.”

Doom?     We don’t have “doomy” discussions, usually,  but I could see it struck a chord in the others.    And, unfortunately,  now that she mentioned it,  in me.

So that’s what I meant:    “America”  cost us something.   And it still will cost us something in the dread near future.   

I used to count up the hours per week that I watched football, (yikes!)  and told myself,  oh, well, it’s such a short season . . . .       But  here’s my new equation:

NFL Players Union  +  the Global Socialist Soros-funded activism =   Not me

 

f blimp

“Not me.”       I’m out of this picture for a while.

This kind of “drought”  is all in one’s personal perception.

There is  the big annual intrastate university football game today.   Big rivalry!    I’ll watch that.  But as for the NFL games –  I’ve think I’ve gained a lot of free hours.     I love football,   but when I want to watch a game,  I don’t want to watch the Opposing Team’s politics.

Not me.

 

f off

 

I love football.  And my country.  And my flag. 

Advertisements

CAN’T ALIGHT

September 6, 2017

Alight:    (verb);    an adverbial of place,  with no object;   to get off a vehicle of some sort

This will pass, but it’s a strange feeling.    I’m home, so I’ve had a “homecoming,”   and I’m appropriately filled with gratitude and mild surprise that all went well.      But deep inside,  I haven’t “arrived.”

I can’t  “alight”  from my vehicle that has held me for the past two and a half weeks.

I am floating around my home as though I’m a ghost,  seeing, but not quite belonging.

I’m at the age where I can easily imagine leaving this world,  leaving my home for good,  and yet curious about what will happen to this house.  What would it look like when I’m no longer living . . .  here?

It would look like this, like it does now.    With me,  close by, looking down and around, but  not quite dwelling in it.    “I” will not be here,  but this house will still stand.

The reason may be that I’ve been doing the same things that I did when I was in “travel mode” and getting ready to leave for my trip.   I seem to be washing and arranging the same clothes that I had gotten ready for the trip, only now putting them back into their closets and drawers,  not in suitcases.

I’m looking through old mail, paying bills, throwing away junk mail and catalogs,  just as I did right before I left.

I’m still eating  from an almost empty refrigerator with “travel food”  yet to finish. Familiar food of  the past couple of weeks.

Still cleaning and organizing the car, as I’ve been doing for the past couple of weeks.

For Pete’s sake:  I’m still watching a hurricane threatening our coastlines!

My reality is still . . .  traveling.

So what am I?    Am I the body now living in this house?   Or am I my mind,   still alert and oriented to my car?

It’s my birthday month right now, and I have to renew my driver’s license –  inside a Secretary of State office   I went there today,,  traveled a bit to get to a smaller office at what I thought was a good time of day;   took a number and realized there were thirty numbers ahead of me!

As I sat there I thought this may take  2 1/2 hours for my turn.  No, actually,  it would be  about 200 miles worth of driving.  Enough to drive out of one state and get halfway into the next.    That’s a big waste of time, just sitting there, getting nowhere.

I left the building.

I’m me,  in my mind,   but I haven’t yet come to terms with the ups and downs of everyday living.   Being here, not getting here.    I can’t put together the physical reality of being home and the mental reality of getting home.

_______________________________________

So who is me?

Where am I?

And what am I?

 

where am i

It’ll come back to me soon.

 

 

SAYING BYE

September 5, 2017

There comes a time when you “just know”  it’s time to reverse direction and turn towards home.    After spending so much time together, side by side,  the little one,  Cooper,  my grandson, bravely accepted that I wanted to go home.  He knew I wasn’t going to be there when he came home from his second whole new day of school.

He shuffled around that morning,  went away and got something,   then handed me his favorite  cute little bear.    He said, “Here, Grandma,  you should take him with you.”

Byw Teddy Bear

He didn’t want me to be alone on my long ride home.  He wanted his love to accompany me on my way home.     (This is the “miracle child”  that was born under surprising circumstances, sent to us when the whole family needed him . . .  He brings peace, caring, and love.       The story is in the Archives for November 2010,  so I won’t repeat it here, except to say Cooper’s mission continues.)

So,  it was  time to hit the open roads again   (with little bear on the dash).

Bye On the road again

Those hazy mountains up ahead . . .  one hour later . . .

Bye Western Hills

. . .   one hour later I reached them and enjoyed driving through them for the last time this year.

Bye side rocks

Last drive through mountain scenery.    And then the  mountainous terrain thins out:

Bye curving roads

Hours and hours of driving later,  next day in fact,  there are still occasional mountains to drive into:

Bye rock in the way

Tunnels make it easier (and fun!):

Byw Tunnel

Eventually,  good-bye to buffalo land:

Bye bison

Good-bye to all the dinosaurs:

Bye Dinosaurs

Well,  but good-bye to fossils and archeological digs and dinosaur museums.    And an archaic way of looking at gasoline:

Bye sinclair

I grew up with those Sinclair gas commercials on television.   I think their mascot was called “Dino.”      Much to my surprise,  when I became an adult, I learned that oil doesn’t come from smooshed dinosaurs,  but that’s all right.

A couple days of driving later I had new scenery to look at:

Bye coming east

It’s all green now.  Rich, fertile land for cattle and sheep and wheat and corn.    Our food.

You think this might be a boring place to drive?     No!   If you’re open to genuine experiences,  the sheer immensity of the landscape, the wide green expanse,   the limitless scenery,   the vast distances that your eyes can take in –  occasionally I still just have to  take a deep breath when I see so far into the land  I’m driving into.

The high plains,  the prairie,  sometimes becomes a desert during August:

Bye dusty roads

You pass by moving clouds of dust alongside the Interstate,  knowing that a tractor or a little truck or a car is on the dusty local roads.

I’m on the road with the big rigs.    I feel safe with the truckers out there.    I love listening to the Truckers Radio Show during the overnight hours.   They usually love their jobs,  love the open roads,  but it’s a difficult job that’s tough on a man’s body.

Bye chapel

It’s a hard and lonely job.

So,  I’ve been putting  the West behind me as the sun hung low in the western sky.

Bye sundown

 

Fun with the sun:

bye sun on bridgeThe sun sits on the bridge in my rearview mirror.

And then night falls —

bye sun dark

From beginning to end –

I started out with the eclipse,  the new moon covering the sun.

I’ve ended it now when the moon is full . . .

Son's Full moon

On the day I arrived home,  Son was kind enough to help me celebrate on his deck with grilled steaks.    The last time I saw him the moon was less than a sliver.  Now we enjoyed the full moon,  glowing reddish orange high in the sky.

Same sun.  Same moon.    But I feel different.  I know I’m different.

So much has been added to me.

“LEFT COAST” LIFE

September 3, 2017

 

The New Donner Memorial Experience:   Gone   Gone   Gone

Okay,  I hope you enjoyed “Lake Life”  and  “Mountain Life,”  because I have to get a little negative here.   Yes,  there was fun,  lots of activities,  lots of good food,  and lots and lots of really nice people —  but at the same time there were a lot of censorship and restrictions on the way you can think.

In fact – maybe the motto was:  Stay active;  don’t think.

Or:  Stay active;  we’ll tell you what to think.

As I traveled west,  I was pretty miffed about all the signs in the zoos that I visited that explained not what animal I was seeing or where they came from,  but   signs that  just gave the name, followed by    “And humans  are destroying this animal’s habitat.”

The World War One Museum conclusion?   “Humans who love their country –  Nationalism –  cause wars.”

The dinosaur museum?    “Humans are causing another extinction event  today. . .”

One day during my vacation,  when everyone was busy,  I decided to re-visit the Donner Party Memorial.  I remember it as a nice one, very informative, with lots of educational, interesting gifts in the gift shop.

But this time there was a big difference.  I should have known something had changed by the police presence there.

2 police presence 370

 

So maybe they were just having a meeting.

Here is the monument built to the Donner party,  90 some in all,  and 46 died.

2 Monument 370Their story is, of course,  a bit sensational:   betrayal and incompetence along the way,  miscalculation of the season and ignorance of survival techniques in  the weather,  and the overblown “horrors”  of cannibalism by a couple of the people,  in an attempt to stay alive.

It happened here:

2 map 350

That’s Cooper’s   “Beautiful Lake,”  as he calls it, where we did so much of our activities.

But in the museum (information center) –  Gone were the beautiful displays of animals native to the area.   Gone  were the life-sized figures of the people and their daily equipment, pots and pans,  children’s toys,  their covered wagons,  yokes, and wheels and axles.    Gone were the historical dioramas of building the railroad into the High Sierras shortly after the Donner Party tragedy,  a railroad which would have made their tragedy unnecessary.     Gone were many of the logs and diaries and books written by the survivors.    Gone was the sense of the grit and courage and perseverance of the Donner Party,  a tribute to the hope and dignity of human beings.

So much I had wanted to see again was just gone.   In fact,  if I didn’t know the story well myself,  I would have been a bit puzzled about what exactly had happened here.

2 donner party area 370

Because I had known what had happened here,  it was easy to recreate in my imagination what took place in these woods.   This is a poignant and eerie scene –  if you know the details.

A few areas were marked.  The actual campsite of one of the families:

2 camp site 370

With just a small plaque to name this site.

They had built a brand new large “information center”  —  so what took up all that space?

Well,  two main large areas told us:   “We must not forget that Western Man destroyed the culture of the   Washoe people  who lived here.”

2 Washoe 370

And there were some large displays of generic “Native American”  life.    This could be any tribe of Indians.    But they can’t live like this anymore.    This culture is  “gone.”

The second main large area was taken up by the Chinese coolies  (is it still okay to call them that?)   who were brought over from China  (shanghaied –  is it still okay to say that?  Because  Chinese merchants captured and sold their fellow Chinese to any country who could use them as workers.)   to do the hard labor of building the railroad across America.

The main statement was:   Western Man must not leave them out of the pages of history.”

Well, guess what!   Western Man didn’t!   I remember learning about the Chinese laborers in at least three different years in school,  with an increasing, maturing  presentation of their plight and of the context.

If young people today,  40 and unders,  don’t know about the Chinese laborers,  don’t blame Western Man –  blame the government schools and their weak, dumbed down curricula.     No one has “forgotten”  them except for the education system.

After all this negativity,  I felt like  “ducking”   every time I read some display sign.

This censorship of the “whole”  story of . . .  anything . . .  was all over.   There was an underlying feeling of guilt and self-doubt and uncertainty everywhere I went.

How about trying to buy some food?

2 Ca style food warning 380

 

And when presented by two or three or four trash cans side by side,  I never did learn which was “garbage” or “recyclable”  or  “compost”  or  “you’d better not put that in here”!

I hope this Left Coast mentality is stopped before it permeates our entire society.   This is not what our Founding Fathers,  our forefathers, and our grandfathers  fought for!   We must not lose our American History in a hysteria of anti-West,  anti-White,   anti-human propaganda.

flag

FREEDOM !!!!!

 

 

MOUNTAIN LIFE

September 3, 2017

 

A Flowers 370

Beautiful mountain flowers, just one of many photos.    I’ve been living for the past few weeks at about 5900 feet, altitude,  but for the people here,  they find their fun way up higher — say  7200 feet.

So up we went one fine day.

A Preferred Travel another view.jpg 380

I loved loved loved these open chair lifts,  feet dangling,  the wind in my face!   I discovered, though that they only go part way up – and not down –  so then you have to use the covered “gondolas.”

A Mt Bike from gondola 370

This is  a view from inside a gondola.  We’re going down.    Your ears can pop from the altitude change!    We’re looking down about 50 feet onto a mountain bike trail.    Cooper’s Daddy teaches mountain biking . . .   winter mountain biking,  in the snow.   He’s probably a good teacher,  but I’m never going to find out!

Cooper was excited to be up in the mountain tops.  There were many things he wanted to do.    Gem panning, for one.

A Gem Panning 370

Panning for gold and semi-precious gems were one of the historic  draws to this area,  so I guess he’s learning his own local history.    He found some really nice ones, including a really nice portion of a geode with amethyst crystals inside.    I’m the grateful recipient of that —  his idea.

This was his second choice:

A Coopers Legs 370

Well, it was hard to capture this activity with the camera.

A Cooper Up 370

In case you wonder how he likes being catapulted 25 feet into the air  —

A Cooper Smile 370

So much fun!   Wish I were six years old again!

The third place he wanted to go while we were up on the mountain tops was a trampoline place.   They actually do some serious practicing for the Olympics up here.

A Cooper Tramp 370

There were dozens of trampolines, side by side, as well as gymnastic floor areas and  things you tie yourself up in to do aerial tricks.   The place was busy with all ages of kids working on their moves.     Cooper  enjoyed the jumping, and his Daddy got into the trampolines too and displayed some spectacular dives and twists.

But it isn’t all for fun:

A Cooper Snowboard practice 370

This is a place to learn your snowboarding tricks.   You can jump and spin and somersault safely, because when you do it in the snow,  it’s going to be a harder landing!

And, yes —

A Cooper bike 370

You practice spinning, jumping, twisting tricks on your bike too.

And when you come down from all the activity what do you do next?

A Soccer 370

See the long shadows?   That’s  “evening on the soccer field.”

After soccer practice . . .  a bike ride to a restaurant . . .

And then the next day . . .  another full round of activities!

(See why this lady is ready to come home soon?)

 

LAKE LIFE

September 1, 2017

Here’s where the Little Blue Car has been parked for the past week:

L Blue Car 370

Beneath a mountain,  at the lakeside.    You can just about see it at the bottom right corner of Cooper’s house.  Cooper’s Mommy and Daddy have worked very hard and are working hard and long hours to be able to choose a home in this location,  but, nevertheless,   every day they told me how lucky and how grateful they are to have a home like that.

So, good.

The Little Blue Car hasn’t had much to do lately.    This is how we got around:

L how we got around 270

Cooper’s family spend a lot of time in that lake –  Donner Lake.

L Viking Dive 370

Tbere’s  a  fearless jump  into the Lake!   Daddy is close by in case he’s needed,  but by six years old?

Nope:

L Viking alone 360

He spent two hours  in  that Lake.     The whole family did.

And after lake time,  Cooper piloted the boat:

L Viking driver 370

Ahhhhh.   Viking blood runs true in the newest generation!

 

viking ship

________________________________________________

 

Active, active, active.   Everyone bicycles, serious mountain biking;   everyone does water sports in the summer,  snowboarding and snow mountain biking in the winter;   and lots of other sports all year round.      All the men.  All the women.  All the children.

But something else I noticed while here in the High Sierras:   I really didn’t see many people my age.   I think everyone must wear themselves out by age 50.

 

DESTINATIONED

September 1, 2017

Yes:  “destinationed.”     ” Destinationed out.”     As in “I got there and I’ve met my  . . .  end . . .”

These people are active!

It’s good.    I’m okay.    I’m exhausted.   Done thinking.    I’m sunburned,   been scraped and bloodied,    dizzied,     weak-kneed,    so-o-o-o-o-o thirsty,    tired,   and shaky . . .   and half-drowned at the bottom of this:

DL Lake Donner

I’ve  been staying there . . .  right about where that little boat in the bottom left corner is coming out of.     Donner Lake.    I’ve been on the Lake and under the Lake . . . .   Tricks on the Lake  you  shouldn’t do at my age, or at least while you’re still weak-kneed from other activities.

Do you know that after you peddle boat across the Lake and back again that your legs don’t work so well for a while?

I took that  Lake photo from up here:

DL Rainbow Bridge 370

 

Location of Rainbow Bridge:

2L The Rainbow Bridge

That little straight dark line in the center of the picture is the famous Rainbow Bridge.  Thanks to “Walt Disney Presents”  and my Viewmaster cards,  I learned about this Bridge as a child.    Almost never thought of it as real.

We got up there from Old US 40 – an old highway with breathtaking views and hairpin turns:

DL Old US 40

We parked our cars below and climbed up by foot further:

DL Rocks

There were more rocks to climb:

DL Boulders

Really was fun jumping from place to place, planning your footholds carefully.   Going down this mountainside was a whole different perspective.   You could see the depths.

Cooper was with me:

DL Cooper

He lives there at Donner Lake –  this is his back yard!    The mountains, the forests and the Lake.        We celebrated Cooper’s Daddy’s birthday — on a pontoon boat – and with ski lifts and gondolas and a bit of hiking at the Summit —  el.  7200 feet.

I did a few other thingsout here at Donner,  but I’m too tired to write about them right now.   Packing the car for the trip home is next on my mind.

I’ll need a rest from this vacation.

BONNEVILLE

August 30, 2017

One of the great stops along I-80  is the Bonneville Flats Test Sight.

After the flat green landscape of Kansas and the beautiful tan and brown and gold tones of the mountains of Wyoming and Utah,  you  notice a “change”  outside your car window:

B1 Bonneville 370

The land becomes white.

B2 Big Flats 380

Miles and miles of dry white surface.

And, of course,  these are the Bonneville Flats – and they’re made for driving!

B3 Flats are for driving 370

There are miles and miles of this.     I always say:   ” I’m not going to stop.”

B5.5 Rest Stop up ahead 370

“I’m not going to stop.    I’m not . . . ”

B4 rest area 370

But I always do.   They have a really nice and informative rest area,  and you can get as close as you can to the salt flats.

Although almost all you’ll see for many miles into the curvature of the earth is salt.

B5 just salt 2 370

Somewhere in that expanse there is a course set, varying in length each year, for the fastest cars to set speed records.  Only one mile of the course is recorded,  the fastest mile, I guess.

B6 sign 370

I’m not that interested in cars and motors and engines and how fast you can get a car-like vehicle to move,  but even for me a portion of that sign was impressive:

B7 sign portion 370

I’ve driven in “triple digit” m.p.h. — but not with an 8 in it!

Might seem like an odd place to take a stroll,  but there’s no danger.

B9 odd place for a stroll

And I always get out there on the salt-encrusted earth too:

B10 shoes in 370

Water seeps through some places:

B11 Wading 2 370

Wet and dry:

B12 shallow water 370

If you scoop up some of the salt from the wet portion –  well, it just looks like wet salt:

B13 shallow wet salt 370

 

But if you want some salt from the dry portion, you have to pry it up from the desert gravel,  you have to use a little force and try to get a big chip:

B14 salt sample 370

I had all the fun I wanted . . .  it was getting later in the traveling day . . .  and see that kind of white  line across the middle of this picture, leading on into the distant mountains?  —

B16 highway goes 370

That’s the highway where I had to go, off into those mountains,  up and over,  and into the high desert:

B17 highway into 102 370

Quite a temperature!

 

 

 

P.S. THE YELLOW AND THE BLUE

August 30, 2017

Here are the “yellow” and the “blue”  I alluded to in the last post  about dinosaurs but forgot to include them at the end.     You see, some of these species are still with us, living today.

So here’s the yellow —  tiny little things that spit poisonous and deadly venom at passers-by.

D Yellow Frogs

They’d be easy to overlook as you walked past them.    They were on display behind glass   (rather thin glass!)   in the lobby of the Sternberg Natural History Museum.

Same with the blue deadly venomous spitting things:

D Blue Frog

Odd.  Different.   Strange.   Exotic.    Hypnotizing.

I wouldn’t want to raise little children where these things live.

We’re reminded that Nature around us is not necessarily a friendly place  . . .  at least not since after the Great Fall, which forever changed the relationship of Man and his Environment.

20170823_111925

ZOO TIPS

August 28, 2017

Going to a zoo sometime during this trip west was something I looked forward to.

Z Zoo Sign

I found a couple:   the Kansas City Zoo in the city;  and this one,  way out in the country through narrow two-lane roads.     Surprisingly worth it.

Of course I’ve been to lots of zoos before, and in one way they’re all “alike”  —  all the familiar animals arranged in simulations of their native continents;   but each zoo is a bit different too,  and it’s those differences plus the animals that make it worth “going to the zoo again.”

Z Rhino

So,  you’ve seen lions and tigers in person;  you’ve seen a rhino;  exotic birds; you’ve been up close to elephants;  maybe you’ve even fed the giraffes with their long black muscular tongues!     (He just stuck his tongue back in when I snapped the picture.)

Z Giraffe 270

Some zoo tips:

First:   you are never too old to go to a zoo.    No matter how old you get, no matter how many zoos you’ve seen,  even if you have to go alone, your zoo trips are not behind you;   you’re never too old!

Second:      In the summer?   On a hot sunny day?    Hat, sunglasses, plenty of water and sunscreen with you?    But don’t forget that the animals are hot too and this is the time of day when the most interesting animals   go    to   sleep!

Sleeping furry tail 300

Cute little guys –  but they’re not going to be moving anytime soon.

Sleeping Flamingos 320

Pretty flamingos.   Pretty sleepy flamingos.

You won’t see much action from even the big guys:
SleepingTigers 370

And I think the bright noon sun bleaches out the colors in the photos.

Third:      Ride!      Ride the trams . . .

Zoo Tram 400

. . .  the trains . . .

Z Train 400

. . .  and the sky rides.  . . .

SkyRide 400

 

You’ll see the zoo in comfort and in shade, with a cool breeze blowing past you;  and it’s surprising how long you can last the day without feeling a bit tired.

Riding,  rolling  gliding your way through the zoo is a great way to see where all the exhibits are and plan which ones you’d like to actually walk to.   And there are always frequent stops,  so just get off near exhibits that you want to see, and then get back on    when you’re done there.

Fourth:   Don’t forget to see the humor – and take some funny shots!

Funny shots 400

Like a headless polar bear

Fifth:   Enjoy the signs –  but remember to be safe or you’ll get some surprises.       This sign was easy enough to understand:

Kangaroo sign and spiders 400

What it meant was that the kangaroos run freely, no cages,  and there are no barriers between you and them.

Kangaroo Spider surprise 400

This made one young man – one foolish, boastful young man –   tell his girlfriend (or wife)  that he was going to run right at those kangaroos and scare them!   His young girlfriend (or wife)  told him  “No!   They’re wild animals!    They could hurt you!”

But the young man ran off our pathway,  through the opening in the bushes,  and promptly began to yell:   “Aaaaaargh!!”       He had run right into some wild . .  .   spider webs!   He came out spitting and sputtering and rubbing his face.      “I’m not going back there,”  he said.   I guess he’d found his wild things.

Sixth:    Look all around and enjoy the whole wild, strange, exotic world that you are just a tiny part of:

Z Blue 400

There was a group of maybe 40 of them, all dressed alike in the same colors:  moms, dads,  children,  babies . . .  speaking “Pennsylvania Dutch,”   which since “Dutch”  means “Deutsch”  I could understand about a third of what they were saying.   How I wondered and speculated what their world is like!

Seventh:   Take Google with you:

Snake google 400

This is a giant python.  An ordinary python with a genetic defect  causing amelonism because of  a double heterozygous gene which produced a condition called … “leuco-”  something.   Another lady and I were trying to figure out what all this meant, what made the python such a pretty yellow color.   Finally we looked each other in the eye,  smiled, and whipped out our cell phones,  consulting Google for the full explanation –  which was rather satisfying.

And that wasn’t the last time Google answered our questions –  questions which could make sense only while we were there,  but answers which will stick with us for a while.

Eighth:       Leave your POLITICS  at home!!!

Not you –  the young millennial zoo people who insisted on writing, for every animal exhibit,   that HUMANS  have destroyed this animal’s habitat and that they are now becoming extinct, or in danger of becoming extinct, or one day will think they might become extinct.       Because  “humans did it.”      Humans are horrible!    Humans make it no fun to be an animal.

And soon there will be no more zoos.

Let me add a little animal sound to that:   “grrrrrrrrrrrrr.”

 

(Next post:  I’ll show them an extinct thing or two!)

 

 

 

 

 

WORLD WAR ONE REVISITED

August 26, 2017

You should . . .  we all should:  revisit World War One.   Or maybe learn about it for the first time.     And 1917.  So much happened in that year that is relevant to us today — and if we don’t learn its lessons,   its warnings for us will come true.

KANSAS  CITY,  MISSOURI:

I had two things on my list to do in Kansas City:   (1)  visit the zoo;  (2)  visit the National World War One Memorial and Museum.

It’s NOT easy to drive in Kansas City,  and they had just received about 9 inches of rain, so many roads were still closed for flooding.  I was heading for the zoo, but got lost and found myself staring at a sign that pointed to the Museum . . .

It looks like this:

WWI Tower 400

It’s large.   You go forward and downward about fifteen feet, and then in through those dark doors in the middle.

Fortunately (if you want to have some fun)  you can go way up to the top of the tower too,  up in a rattle-y metal elevator:

WWI looking down elevator

That’s standing at the edge of the elevator looking down a couple hundred feet!   It lifts you up and then you walk up a further 45 winding steps,  just like in a lighthouse.

Quite a view!

WWI KC overlook

And my pretty blue car, way down there:

WWI Blue car

 

But inside the museum,  it was serious.    Serious history for a serious century.   You entered the exhibit rooms by walking on a glass floor.   Underneath the floor, about twenty feet down,  was a garden of poppies.

WWI glass floor anad foot

The reflection of the bright light makes it hard to tell that it’s a transparent floor,  but there’s my shoe to show you I’m standing on glass!

Deep down below, if you were there,  you’d see the poppies:

WWI glass poppies

I  cried.

Poppies.  *    We must never forget.

World War One was a slap in the face to “modern” man,  and a punch in the stomach.   With all the confident promises of modern technology to solve every problem, we discovered that technology could be used to wage the horrific, murderous, brutal war we could not even have imagined.   Airplanes were used to deliver bombs and chemical gases.    Artillery increased in unimaginable sizes.   Submarines delivered death to civilians, not just enemy soldiers.

And a new kind of warfare took the lives of almost half the men in the war:

WWI Trench 400

This was a life-size model of a trench from which much of the war was waged, on both sides.   10 to 15 feet or more deep.   Dirty, muddy,  disease and vermin filled.   A map of the trenches ran from the English Channel all the way down to Switzerland,  and it was not just one long narrow string of trenches.    There were many intersecting trenches,  some for fighting,  some for communications, some for the officers to plan,  some for tending the wounded,  some for supplies . . .   The web of trenches were like small cities.

And many, many young men died in these trenches.  Or trying to get out of the trenches.   Or ordered to get out, up, and over, to bring the fight to the enemy.

WWI Men sign up 400

America entered the war after a few years.    There were campaigns to raise money for our troops.  There was rationing at home.   “Tobacco parties”   or “Tobacco Balls”  to raise a supply of cigarettes to send to the troops.    And there was pressure on young Americans to enlist.

My grandfather enlisted in the Navy.      U.S.S.   Utah.

In 1917 the war effort faltered as Russia left the war to fight an internal war of its own.

WWI stolen guns

Actual German guns – taken by the Russians,  to use in the Russian Revolution.

Like World War One and “poppies”  the Russian Revolution is another event of the 20th century that should be revisited, since the same revolutionary group is at work in the United States today, promoting anarchy,  social upheaval,  class warfare,  racism,  discontent, and violence.

We need to remember what that did to the Russian people.   I know for a fact that our school and university history books do not tell us what we need to know.

World War One ended, then in 1918,   but its lessons for us do not come to an end.   Unless we want an inevitable Three.

 

 

_____________________________

.*

 

InFlandersFields

OPEN ROADS OPPORTUNITIES

August 26, 2017

I have some photos for you!  Finally!   I’m back in business:  after driving more than 600 miles today,  most of it looking into the blazing western sun;  and after resolving the war between Kaspersky and an “unsecure”  hotel Internet connection;  after finding a way to bypass a reluctant camera-to-laptop  connection while managing an insistent Roaming cell phone connection   . . .    and having my laptop shut down several times by the above mentioned parties to the “war”  —  I showed them all who’s Master of all this digital stuff!

BEHOLD:

Kansas Rd 400

Wide open spaces, as I wrote about last time!   Missouri and Kansas.

And Wyoming:

Wyoming Rd 400

I have so many photos of Wyoming, because it’s  the most scenic state I’ve ever  driven in.    This one just shows the open roads, not the scenery

If you ever want to feel like you’re driving on the very  top of the world, looking out in all directions for miles and miles into the horizon,  you would find that extraordinary feeling in Wyoming!     It’s a little like looking out from an airplane window.   The view is a cross between beautiful earth colors and a moonscape, and it lasts all day!    Ooohs and ahhhs and catching your breath is most appropriate!

The Glory of God reflected back to Him by Wyoming  scenery!

Well, this is about “opportunities”:    

Take them.

Mississippi 380

That’s the Mississippi River.  But not “just”  the Mississippi.   Think of all the history involved with that river:    Ancient Americans navigated it and built their mounds alongside its shores.    It’s quite likely, from the artifacts left behind that the Mauritanians   during the Roman era knew it.   (Mauritania:  an African province of Rome)      And “blue-eyed”  blond explorers (the Vikings?)

Certainly we know Father Pierre Marquette explored and mapped the river and the surrounding territory.   The first name  for this river that the Europeans knew  was “The River of The Immaculate Conception”  in honor of the Virgin Mary.

MAP River of the Immaculate Conception

The year was about 1673 and Father Marquette was 36 years old!

Of course the Mississippi River (as the English renamed it)  was important to the pioneers who had to cross it.

Did you know that when the first bridge over the river was completed, people were so afraid to cross that bridge,  that a parade of  elephants were led across the bridge to prove that it would be strong enough for people and wagons!

So when you’re driving across that ho-hum we-‘ve- heard- the- name- a- thousand- times river  —   when you’re driving,  take the opportunity  to think of all its interesting history.  And, as Son reminded me,  when you’ve driven to the western side of the  Mississippi River,   you’re really in the West.

Same thing for the Missouri River.

MIssouri 370

It also has a rich history and was meaningful to all those who had to cross it on their way west.    It’s really west,  far west,  and I felt quite emotional humming the beautifully sad song “Shenandoah,”   the river so many left behind when they pioneered west,  knowing they’d never go home again.   (YouTube it.)

Imagine what these strange-looking banks of the Missouri River meant to them:

MIssouri banks 370

Well, it isn’t just history and geology along the way.   Sometimes you have to make an effort to NOT let an opportunity get away from you.

Traveling along I-70  I saw many signs for wineries,  but I didn’t want to travel 20 miles north or south to get to one.  Then I saw this one:

Winery Bldg 380

Right along the edge of the interstate —  I drove to the nearest exit, turned around, and drove back to it.

Winery Sign 380

It’s hard to stop the “forward”   momentum  when you’re on a long trip,  but I think this was a little bit  worth it.  I met some nice people.   They let me peek into their back room.

Winery vats 380

The lady described the wines in terms that were foreign to me:  forward effect,  undertones,   fragrance,  airiness,  and , oh, yes,  “like taking a walk in a forest . . .”

I’m glad I took this opportunity and had the experience, even though  vineyards are only mildly interesting to me.   I’m not a wine-drinker — but the rest of my family  is.   I didn’t take a photo of the inside of the wine store and the bottles I picked out . . .  it’s a secret (until I deliver the bottles to my family)!

But more interesting stops in the next posting . . .

 

__________________________

 

Well, I found Shenandoah for you,  sung by a Norwegian singer!

(Remember,  it’s a very sad song . . . )

 

BEYOND “ROAMING”

August 24, 2017

Well, I  am  traveling (roaming)   but so is my cell phone and it’s apparently very nervous about being so far from home.

I’ve traveled westward now for several days.  It’s a vast empty space out here.  You can drive for three hours straight, 80 m.p.h.,  few curves, few hills, and few cars  and without seeing any towns.    There are few exits, and there are usually no structures at the exits anyway.   Gas stations are few and far between.    You can fill up your tank and drive for another two or three or four hours and still see pretty much nothing.

Other than beautiful fertile landscape . . .  and lots of steaks-to-be.

For most of the last two days I had no cell service, and when I did,  I had to keep readjusting the roaming settings.    Now I discover that the Internet service is sketchy at best.

No photos?    Each photo that I have for you is taking 3 to 4 minutes to download.   That won’t do.

There is nothing that makes one feel “away from home”   as being away from cell phone and Internet.

(I’m driving up into the mountains tomorrow.   I’ve been there before.   There are even fewer people up there!)    Good-bye, again!!   

________________________________________

SOME THOUGHTS ON ROAMING:

We have a vast, empty country, with relatively few people to spread around.   The people we do have seem to want to group together in too little space.      Now,  why should that be?    Back in the mists of time,  before ancient history,  we know  that our Creator said to “be fruitful . . .  and fill the whole earth. . .”  which we can understand means to “go ahead and live everywhere on this planet.”  

Also in ancient myths we repeatedly see that the Enemy had “taught”  humans to live in vast cities,  concentrating power and wealth in the hands of a few rulers.     Not good.

But we really do have enough land to spread out in small related groups of family and friends.    Sure would make true democracy a bit easier.

 

 

YES, WE DID

August 22, 2017

It’s taken an amazing amount of effort to get to see the eclipse —  and write about it!

e sun

We saw that, taken during the eclipse, but the eclipsed sun was still so bright that the camera couldn’t pick up the crescent sliver.    We did see the eclipse in all its phases,  at about 99+ % totality.

Safely looking through safety glasses:

e thru glasses

 

And looking goofy through the safety glasses:

e to edit

 

After tons of doubts and indecisions and not a few trepidations, Son and I had headed south for our eclipse viewing.  We made it all the way into Kentucky.    Reports of traffic jams seemed slightly exaggerated  but perhaps it was our lengthy morning discussions that allowed all the other cars to get a head start.  We nearly had the highways to ourselves!

We had no idea where to go in Kentucky, but there seemed to be a guiding hand watching over us and managing the timing and the location.

e npo crowds

 

We found our way to what turned out to be the local community college, where everyone was friendly and happy.   It wasn’t really crowded.

One advantage of viewing an eclipse in a college setting is that there are telescopes at hand!    Son gets a good look:

e telescope

We walked around, we sat down, we lay down in the soft clover grass and tried to absorb all the phenomena:  we watched the crescent sun get narrower and narrower,   the lights dim,  the air get slightly cooler  (it was 95 degrees — “slightly cooler”  still felt hot!),  we saw the shadows actually get unusually sharper with well-defined edges:

e sharp shadow

And then, all at once:  

In the trees all around us the crickets and bugs and things began singing – loudly!   The people who had been speaking in soft voices  each other had to speak a little more loudly to each other.    We all looked around in wonder because we hadn’t noticed any “absence”  of bug sounds just a few moments before, and now there was a full chorus around us!

e noisy bugs

Son discovered that these were dead bugs,  but there sure were a lot of them.

We had beautiful park-like surroundings on that campus:

e beautiful surrroundings

 

We lingered awhile, just reliving the experience and enjoying the scenery.   We sure didn’t feel like being among the first to leave.

e blue car

The little blue car was waiting for us.   Son starts his journey home to the Far North and I begin my journey West,  first stop  Kansas City, Missouri,  where there is LOTS to see.

Truly,  everything worked out smoothly for us.   Deo gratias.

 

NINE OF HIM WOULD’VE MADE A DOZEN

August 8, 2017

“Nine of him would have made a dozen!”  

What better way to describe a big brawny man!    Most especially it’s a term of appreciation to say that about a man who is helping you out on a particularly tough physical job – and is  more than adequate for the task.

It’s from a book I’m reading.     A western.

Everything is pointing me westward this month.   I finished a small grocery trip and pulled out of the parking lot,  looking for traffic, towards the west —

Sunset at Tom's 370

A surprising splash of color from the west  flowing down the street.

This book I’m reading is a twentieth century western, takes place in Montana,  and from what I’ve seen the West is still out there like that in Montana.    The author has a way with words that make me laugh right out loud or make some noise of delight once or twice on every page,  and it was actually his description of the mountains that made me think of my own trip westward in the last post I wrote.

I forgot to write it down in the last post,  but I think this little passage is worth thinking about.

The story is told from the point of view of a fourteen year old boy  one summer- and I think I nearly know what it’s like to feel like him, near as I could.    Going up farther into the mountains to count sheep for his ranger father,  he looked out the window one morning to see what kind of day it would be:

“First thing,  I made a beeline to the window.  . .  Roman Reef and all the peaks south beyond it stood in the sun, as if the little square of window had been made into a summer picture of the Alps.  It still floors me how the mountains are not the same any two days in a row,  as if hundreds of copies of those mountains exist and each dawn brings in a fresh one, of new color, new prominence of some feature over the others, a different wrapping of cloud or rinse of the sun for this day’s version.”

That’s what got me thinking about my upcoming journey, because I’ve driven this way many times in the past,  but I get up over into Wyoming, and I always gasp – right out loud,  and more than once, as I drive over each rise and see another glorious vista.  But each time I see these same mountain ranges,  they do seem to be a new, different,  more wonderful version of those mountains I thought I remembered.

And then, out again in the mountains by himself, the young man experiences those “twin feelings of aloneness and freedom . . .”    I’ve felt that too, out there.  I was where I shouldn’t have been, alone at least,   but alone I was for many hours,  somewhat lost for a while, and yet so free . . .  all by myself.

The book also described a perfect Montana Fourth of July,  picnic, square dancing,  and rodeo.   I can tell you I was tired by the end of all that activity!    It will be a little snapshot of a perfect Fourth of July for the young man in the story, and I’m glad to have shared his experience.    As he thinks over the day, the author says:  “It was a set of hours worth the price of the rest of your life.”

All in all,  it’s out West that I’ve known  one corner of this  immense planet and felt that great aloneness,   I’m a simple speck next to the infinite iterations of mountains and prairies.

Just a tiny little speck of life on a home planet that presents  endless scenes of majesty – and yet both are a reflection of the infinite power and glory of their Creator.

 

book

Travel West.  Think big!

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRAVEL MODE

August 7, 2017

Well,  I’ve been observing a lot.  I have a lot to write about . . . .

But it seems I’ve entered travel mode now.    That means I will be distracted (and scatterbrained)    and overly excited  (Wow!  I have 5,000 miles of road ahead of me!!!!)  and overly-dramatic  (I won’t know if I make it back home until I get back home)   and indecisive (what all should I be taking with me?)  and should I plan everything or just be spontaneous   (and trust there’ll be a hotel room available in the evening)?

Anyway,  I’ll try not to be absent from The Spruce Tunnel . . . .

First stop?

eclipse

Under that.   I know when,  I just don’t know where.   Yet.

Of course visiting Cooper is my main destination . . .   This is  just outside his front yard.    He calls it his “beautiful lake”  and I hear he has lots of plans for me.   In the lake.

Shaffer Summer 300

But I’m very much in need of some other mountains.  Not Cooper’s Sierras;    but these:

 

wy mt stretch

Mountains with wide open spaces!.  You have no idea of how much land you’re looking at,  not even when you’re driving there.

I’m supposed to “promise” that I won’t keep taking pictures while I’m driving.

I’ll be driving through some of my favorite towns too:

wyoming civilizaiton

Hubbie used to ask me why I keep taking so many photos as we would drive through the mountains.  He said they all look the same!     Well,  he’s a creature of the deep dark  northern forests.   He thinks trees look all different.

When  I was young my Mom used to “torture” me – and herself –  by asking the question:    “Which would you rather live near,  the mountains or the ocean?”     It was a game,  but we’d think so seriously and discuss our answers.   I was always unsettled by my final  answer,  because . . .  “neither” wasn’t an option.

Hubbie’s forests are very scary,  because you feel closed in tight by the trees.     Mom’s mountain preference made me feel closed in because you can’t see much horizon.   The ocean gives me claustrophobia  because it’s  a foreign environment  full of dangerous, unseen creatures and its powerful waves threaten to close in on you.

So. . .  what can I say?     I like seeing forests, mountains, and oceans,  but I spent my childhood  on the edge of the Illinois prairie.  You could look  out forever and see endless sky and endless horizon.     You stand tall on the solid ground.

If you have the choice to travel or not to travel,  choose travel!     Not the airplane kind,  skimming over everything,  but driving,   really getting into it,  living through all the scenery our country has to offer.

Maybe then you’d know how to answer my Mom’s question.

 

 

A MOM’S MIND AT WORK

August 5, 2017

(Hyberbole:  my favorite form of humor)

The last few posts have been about  huge problems “way out there.”      I’m returning now closer to home,  closer to the Spruce Tunnel.   

Or maybe not.

Alaska where cooper is

See that tiny little huge cruise ship in the middle of the Alaskan mountain fjord?   Well, my loved ones are on board, including my little grandson Cooper.  So tiny in a big wide world.

al overboard   On their first day I woke up  with a flash of a very vivid picture:  it was Cooper going over the railings of the ship,   plunging into the waters below.    It was a huge panicky kick in the stomach.     And before I could catch my breath,   there was Cooper’s Daddy taking a running leap over the rails to save his son . . .

(Not a good way to wake up in the morning.)

They sent me some photos.  Want to know what goes on in a Mom’s Mind when you’re out having your adventures?

Alaska Stream 300

Here are Cooper and Daddy,  halfway into their Denali adventure,  standing next to a pretty little stream . . .

. . .  Along with a little wildlife, also enjoying the stream and watching for whatever they can find in the stream:

Alaskagrizzlies watching mountains

It’s an Alaskan stream.   Close enough.

I hope those grizzlies know what else is available in that stream:

Alaska Salmon 260

I think my little family was standing too close to all those delicious salmon when they took this photo.

I asked Cooper if he knew what an iceberg is.  He told me he thinks it’s something like a big floating island made of ice.    And clearly that didn’t make any sense to him.   I told him it was more like a river of ice that flows between the mountains.

AlaskaGlacier River

Pretty big river,  pretty small ship.    But I think the river of ice  idea made some sense to him.   After all,  his home is on a lake between very high mountains.

The icebergs make a very big splash when they crack off –

Alaska Berg 360

They’re pretty close to this one that’s about to “crack off.”      A very big splash for a very little cruise ship.

Then I got this picture, very small size on my cell phone,  no explanation.     But it looked to me like Daddy got captured by some wild Alaskan mountain men and strung up between the trees   . . .

Alaska Zipline 290

Except that might be a smile on his face.

I just know I’m going to be getting some more photos.

One mother’s  (one grandmother’s)   worries, even though I’m pretty sure they are safe.    I worry about them all because I know how precious and vulnerable they are.   Family is pretty close to home, close to heart,  and everyone is part of someone’s family.   That’s how a Mom’s Mind works too.

I think that’s why I was writing  all those recent posts about the current development of an all-powerful State that will rule every aspect of our lives and negatively affect not only us as individuals, but our loved ones too.

“Big Brother evolves.”

 

al sky bots

e v o l u t i o n

If Artificial Intelligence trumps human intelligence,  then we and the ones we love will become little more than (dehumanized)  human resources to manage and manipulate in whatever ways are best for the system.

We’d better start there,  with the certain knowledge of the dignity and worth of every form of human life.  Each individual specially created and loved by the Creator.   No one can be discarded without greatly offending the One who made him.

al gr gr

As the decades roll past,  and you have fewer years ahead of you than behind you,   everything that you thought was important drops off until what you have left is  Love —    ideally,  the love God gives you to love Him, to love your family,  and to love yourself.

 

“Faith, hope, and love;  and the greatest of these  is love,”  right?    That’s instruction from the Bible.

Bible Rosary and Glasses 270

When you leave this earth and see God,  you’ll have no more need of “faith” in Him.   You will have no more need to hope in Him for your safety;  He’s right there, and you are safe  with Him.

But the Love will only increase exponentially, even beyond what we can imagine now.

 

 

QUETZACOATL, ET AL.

July 30, 2017

Westward,  ho!!!   On the trail of Quetzacoatlus,  the winged . . .  serpenty thing.

quetzalcoatlus

 

I know I should say that  the greatest “draw”  for me as I prepare my westward journey is my grandson, Cooper.    And my daughter.  And my son-in-law.    But . . .   I know me.

There’s another:

nodosaur-fossils-close-up-ridges.adapt.1900.1

It is one of the most exciting and recent fossil discoveries!!!  This fossil shows us the skin, the ridges, the scales, and the feathers of a nodosaur, a reptilian-serpenty thing..

I’ll show you the head in a minute,  but, first, a few comments — and I’m gong to be very, very sketchy and abbreviated in my words.  You’ve either speculated on this stuff, or you haven’t.

Here’s another view of the Quetzacoatlus:

quetz atlus

They’re winged,  they’re  feathered (more feathers than this artist gave them) , and they  perhaps fly.

The Native peoples of Mexico await the return of the Winged Serpent, whom they call Quetzacoatl.    Snouted, not beaked.  (Taxonomers seem not to care.)

quetz in stone

Interaction with human beings.    Forbidden interaction.

quetx in curves

Who is that Nachosh spoken of in the Bible;  that Shining One;  that Reptilian-Serpent Thing that interacted with the first humans in their protective Garden?

qu shining

Forbidden.     Deadly.

Quetxacoatl again –  (also known as the head of a nodosaur)  —

nodosaur head

What are these things and when did they live –   and what is this . . .  interaction?   It was a time not made for human beings.      But forbidden spiritual interaction is not my point today.    And there’s plenty of evidence for the physical interaction of humans and “dinosaurs”  depicted in artwork:  pictures,  objects (like ancient little toy dinosaurs),  and in weaving and sculpture.   But that’s not my point today either.

It’s this —  Fossils and Footprints!

Man n Din

 

That’s a MAN  lying in a dinosaur FOOTPRINT!   The silhouette of the dinosaur is below the photo, and the silhouette of the man is that teeny thing under the tail!

More three-toes dinosaurs,  smaller ones:

hand in print

One time I was in Carson City NV with Cooper,  in the dinosaur display room in a children’s museum.     At two and a half years old,  I wasn’t sure if he understood why I was so excited about seeing the display of three large dinosaur footprints.    He didn’t say much,  but he walked away,  came back with three little plastic toy dinosaurs,  and he placed one toy dinosaur in each footprint.

He got it.

So, yes,  “westward”   —  into dinosaur country.   I’ve got my  route planned from museum to museum!

_____________________________________

 

Here’s a footnote to the Michael Crichton book I wrote about yesterday,  just to be honest:   The main character about whom the story is told —  didn’t exist, much to my surprise.   The   minor characters who were paleontologists did exist:  Professors Cope and Marsh —  and, of course,  Wyatt and Morgan Earp and assorted famous outlaws.

The places in the book Dragon Teeth  really exist too.  I’ve been to many of them, and reading this book was like having a movie played before my eyes.

Reading and living!

I’d like more of both,  God willing.

 

_________________________________________________

.*   To enjoy some quite plausible speculation,  you can’t do better than the series called “West of Eden.”   (Although I suspect modern “environmentalists”  would not be on the side of the humans.”    It’s a clear clash of technologies.)

 

WHY I DON’T FLY – A JUSTIFIED RANT

October 21, 2016

I’ve been sitting on this story for a long time, and although there’s no reason to bring it up now, I just want to stop seeing these photos on my Desktop.

bar-dissolve-er

We all know that a totalitarian mentality  is rising, and rising faster and faster now.   In this country,  if you don’t agree with the political party of The Poor Sick Woman, HRC  (H.er R.oyal C.lintoness),  then you get shut down, mocked, marginalized,  attacked –  sometimes physically.     (see next  post)     The Extreme Leftists always need to shut down their opposition.

Ubiquitous surveillance.    Stifling over-regulation.    Enforcement of politically correct speech.    “Watch what your neighbor is doing – if you see something, say something.”

In 1917 the world was warned about “the errors of Russia”  being spread throughout the whole world.   It’s not the Russian people,  it was the system of  dictatorial atheistic materialism that was being set up in their country at the time.

russias-three-guys

Hard to believe these three old guys have such an influence on us today,  via Saul Alinsky and his disciples,  the Barack Hussein person in American and HRC who wants his power.

Impossible to believe at one time in America,  but then George Orwell wrote a description of the future based upon what he saw developing.   He was not just a writer,  his political position gave him an inside view of their plans.    His words:

jackboot

He used the image of jackboots to tell us what living under a totalitarian system would be like.

How on earth could that ever  develop here?    My Grandmother believed it could.   It happened in her native country.     And in America, her generation and my father’s generation knew that we needed to be Vigilant, or it could happen here.

planeother.jpg

So, I’m being vigilant –  and I’m not going to submit to certain evidences of increasing totalitarianism, where we are slowly  being trained to comply with unreasonably intrusive and slave-like orders from a system which has been proven time and time again to be ineffective!

I’ve written elsewhere about the “naked-body”  viewing machines which you are encouraged to stand in and pose.  I’ve written before about how TSA agents have been caught downloading certain “interesting”  still shots of people’s bodies,  taking them to their home computers,  trading them with other agents,  selling them,  and even using them to humiliate their co-workers who have gone through the machines.    Caught.   Caught and prosecuted.     It happens.

Our naked bodies are NOT for the Authorities to view –  like we were on some sort of Roman slave block:

slavery-sale-in-rome

I used to be a teacher –  of elementary schoolchildren.  One thing we all taught the children was something called Stranger Danger.   Don’t let a stranger Touch you – Don’t let a stranger Touch you in your private parts . . .

slavery-tsa-child-porn

So . . .   now what?   Don’t let a stranger touch you in your private places – except when our Rulers want to?     What body part is that woman with a blue glove feeling for?  I’m furious when I read the numerous stories of children separated from their parents,  frightened to death by what they know is Wrong Touches,   children video’d by onlookers or their outraged parents as their children are sexually touched at airports –

And  their fathers and other good, decent men have to “stand still”  while they’re groped.

slavery-pervert-patdown

And the mothers, sisters,  daughters,  and good decent, modest women have to endure –  anything.

slavery-no

I know.  I’ve experienced “pat down”  groping sessions at airports.     My body can still feel those  intrusive personal gropings,  worse than pictured here,  and it still registers  a disgusted shuddering when I remember, and then remember  especially the look of Complete Power in the eyes of one of those . . .  females.   I was in grave danger there, had I protested.

But this challenge to our personal dignity is a deliberate conditioning of citizens to submit   to outrages from Authority figures everywhere.     This was taken by someone shaken up before a football game:

slavery-nfl-pervert-patdown

Where did all the Americans go?     The land of the free and the home of the brave?      What kind of men allow this to happen to themselves, and especially to their wives?  Their sisters?  Their own mothers!

As a society we have no perspective on this because   it doesn’t happen to everyone and it doesn’t happen all the time.     It crept up on us slowly, and we were deliberately distracted by  a manufactured hysteria over future “attacks.”    Submit!!   Submit and be Safe!!!

Could another attack happen?    Of course.      Do we bend over and let the jackboots kick away our dignity?

Um . . .   ask George Orwell.     Ask any Extreme Leftist who must be in complete control of the population.   Ask anyone who tried to oppose the rising totalitarian mentality.

I’m doing my part – I’m avoiding submission to illegitimate Authority.   I will travel by car  until they put up checkpoints at state lines.

This coming election is more serious than we realize.

Vote.     But read 1984 first.        Or we will sell our souls to the jackboots.

DESTINATION – WHERE HIAWATHA LIVES

July 21, 2016

The Spruce Tunnel has reported many times that our Land,  this USA, is so empty.  One can drive for hours without seeing anyone, and many times during this past week I’ve been the only car in my lane for a half hour, sometimes  an hour at a time:

Hour W out cars

HIAWATHA’S LAND:

But it  is  beautiful in the Far Far North where Hiawatha lived (lives).

GG Driving Island  Sunlight through the forest,  Nature speaks deep within you with concepts of Beauty:   colors, pleasing proportions,  compositions, contrasts, harmony . . .  all the classic elements of Beauty, which testifies to its Creator.

GG Driving 2 400

Curve after curve,  Hiawatha’s forest views.

But of course he didn’t have a car to ride in!  So I went into the forest –

GG Forest floor 400

Ferns on the forest floor.    Easy walking, because ferns aren’t really thick underbrush.  They’re very soft when you walk through them.

GG Forest path and wild 400I found pathways.   I’ve walked miles along these pathways during this past week.   All the time I was thinking about Hiawatha’s small village,  one of many, many, maybe countless villages that existed throughout this Land.    Many millions of people lived in this Land, long before the Vikings and the Italian exploreres came to it.

I kept “seeing”  these villages:

BR new goods

And wondering who was “seeing” me:

BR coming

Hiawatha’s forest was not only a location, of course,  an “address” for his home;  it also gave to them everything needed to sustain life.

GG Forest Deer 400I drove by these deer one afternoon.   Probably descendants of the 17th, 18th, and 19th century deer that provided many necessities for Hiawatha and his people.

I couldn’t help taking a picture of this:

GG Forest Birch

We all know that the white birch  has bark that is stripped off to make canoes.  What I learned this time is that each strip of bark has five, six, or seven layers, and each thin layer is waterproof and very strong,  perfect for making  a lake or river canoe, among other things.

GG Canoes from Birch When I was a child I tried making a small toy boat with birch bark.  I also tried making “paper”  with the birch bark.   I failed.   I really didn’t know about the “layers”  in a strip of birch.

But it was important to know these things for Hiawatha because his land borders the Great Gitche Gumme,  and I walked many pathways to get to that Lake.

GG Forest Edge Path 400

If you could see across that Lake,  you would see the shores of Canada.

Gitche Gumme claims the land, in a constant tussle between land and water.

GG Forest Edgge Dropoff 400

The pathway along the edge seemed to be about a half mile long.  Finally,  I got to my destination,  the destination for this whole week-long, more-than-400-mile journey:

Black Rocks 400

It’s here.  This was my destination.    It’s an area called Black Rocks,  a singularly unromantic name for an outcropping of “rock”  that is estimated to be 1.3 billion years old.  This is some of the oldest known rocks on the surface of the earth.

On the shores of Gitche Gumme
By the shining Big-Sea-Waters

Yeah,  here is where I needed to be,  I thought.    These were the first waters I saw at the very beginning of my life . . .  and now,  with the end in view,   I needed to see these waters again.

Black Rocks into lake.

It was the end of land of the Far Far North in view, anyway.

Black Rocks far 400I climbed all around Black Rocks,  and finally looked for a place to sit.

Black Rocks Seat

And I did it.   I found a good rock ledge to sit on and I put my camera away, and then I began to . . .  well,  brood.   I divided my life into five-year segments . . . .

And, well . . .  with each and every scene from my memory huge wounds of negative emotions leapt out at me.    Private, powerful emotions.

It would have been tough that day . . .  it would have been a tough whole life . . .  but for one thing.     With each sudden emotional blow,  I asked myself,   “Well,  what did God want me to learn from this hardness?”     And why is it that each emotional “blow” I felt seemed really rather feeble in my memory?    And how is it that I’m not unhappy,  but indeed,  full of hope and joy and love for those whom I know?

“What did God want me to learn…?”    There was a lesson in each stage of my life.   I suppose.    But I wasn’t that broody, actually.   I probably was taught something during each stage, and then incorporated the learning into my assurance that God was in control.

And so I don’t need to know any “answers.”  I don’t need to come to any conclusions.

What I learned from my brief three hours of “brooding”  sitting on those rather hard rocks is that,  in a big way,  I’m not that baby,  that toddler, that child,   that adolescent,  that young adult . . .  anymore.

I am “me”  only in this Present Moment.  That’s all I ever can be:  Me  Now.     I am identified by what I am Now.

In a big way,   what matters is what kind of person I am Now.

Forgiveness  and Forgetfulness available for the past;   hope and healing available for the future.

That’s the way Gitche Manito works.   Ever Present- Ever Now.     What’s NOT to be joyful about?!

I think I actually did reach my “destination.”

Deo gratias.

 

(Next post:  Why Hiawatha knew this too.)