Saturday, May 30, 2015

Inspiration

You have doubtless witnessed me whining about my lack of "inspiration" for my blogging experiences.  I need to pay closer attention to what is going on in the neighborhood, and of course by neighborhood I mean all places inhabited by people.

In our neighborhood, Muncie where I once lived, a backyard picnic turned violent over the holiday weekend when a woman stabbed another woman in the eye with a barbecue fork in a disagreement over who got the last chunk of ribs.  We take our BBQ seriously in Indiana.

We do, however, take our legislature as a joke.  A recently passed law soon takes effect in Indiana.  It requires a vehicle traveling in the left lane of a four-lane highway  to move over when another vehicle approaches from the rear.  Yes, this means that if you are traveling 70 mph in a seventy-mile zone and an idiot going ninety comes up on you, you must move over.  Failure to do so could cause you to incur a fine of up to $500.  More to the point, if the idiot is going 90, protect yourself at all costs.


Anyway, the idiocy ratio (IR) in our legislature is 100% in the house (97 - 0) and 59% in the senate (29 - 20) for an overall legislative IR of  86%.  Seems about right.

Yes, I know it is idiotic to drive the speed limit in the left lane if the right lane is clear.  But how dumb is it to pass a law that could impose a fine on an otherwise law-abiding driver in favor of a fool.
It is sufficient to treat the left lane as a passing lane only.

Credit, if any, where credit is due:  It is my understanding that our fair state was not the first to endorse this legislation.

Headline:  School destroyed by tomato plants now garden.
My fault.  This is a case of faulty eyesight, not faulty writing or weird occurrences.  It actually reads: School destroyed by tornado plants new garden.

The story is from Lafayette, also in the neighborhood, approximately as far west of us as Muncie is  to the east.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Journaling: Northern Arizona**

We stopped in Tuba City, Arizona and filled up with gas.  Then we had a disturbing session with the ATM which would not read my bank card.  So I thought I'd use the credit card which is essentially against my principles, but what can you do?  OK, the machine read the card but I have forgotten my PIN.  So no money.  (When we arrived home much later there was a friendly letter from the card company reminding me of my secret number. Like I need it now.)



So on down the road sans cash.  At the crossing of the little Colorado, we turned westward to drive along the south rim of the Grand Canyon.  At the first scenic overlook, you guessed it, plywood booths totally obstructing the view such that had not one of the vendors failed to show for work that day we'd have seen nothing but plywood and product.  Through the empty booth, we could catch a glimpse of the scenic wonder beyond.  Our irritation was sufficiently intense that even JoAnn did not buy stuff.

Jo surveys the Canyon.


vanilla awed and amazed

The drive along the canyon was spectacular and many views made it worth the while, even though we knew we would return to the rim on the morrow.  We drove out of the Park to Tusayan and purchased a camping spot.  The following day, October 23, we drove to the Park, abandoned the RV and the dog in a parking lot, and boarded a bus for a scenic tour to various points along the canyon.  We disembarked at one point and enjoyed the area for an hour, boarded another bus and rode back to Moran Point where we got off and walked along the rim of the canyon about a mile and a half back to the Visitor Center where we boarded another bus to return to the parking lot.

You have all seen the pictures and most of you have read the feeble efforts others have made to describe the Canyon.  We won't even try.  It is indeed overwhelming.  We did observe that there were extensive forest fires on the North Rim which provided a rich haze of  smoke throughout the canyon which with the brilliant play of sunlight lent a phantasmagorical quality to the scenes.




Yet there was not sufficient smoke to obscure the view.  We were later told that the fires had been burning for two months and that there was no effort being made to squelch them.  Reforestation and renewal of the flora in the area, you see, as many seeds will not germinate unless they have been through the fire.

Back to Tusayan in the evening and a return to our campground.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

John Nash, Mathematician

Reading about the recent death of John F. Nash and his wife Alicia led to numerous revelations for me.  Yes, I saw "A Beautiful Mind."  I spent the following days of discussion with my spouse attempting to explain to her what we saw.  Blind leading the blind?  Perhaps.

John Nash who would want to be remembered as a mathematician will in all likelihood be as much if not more remembered as an economist.  It was in the field of economics in which he won the Nobel Prize.  Economists in large measure believe Nash's contributions to the field are at the minimum as important as were those of Adam Smith.

Everyone who has read the book A Beautiful Mind or who saw the cinematic production knows that Nash was brilliant almost beyond the comprehension of most people and moreover they know that he was a life-long sufferer of schizophrenia.  I shall make no attempt to detail his battle  It is to be noted that he and his wife left behind a son John, Jr. who holds a Ph.D. in his own right and who also suffers from schizophrenia.  It was one of his mother's major worries: What will become of Johnny when we are gone?

But one of the more sobering statistics I garnered in my reading was this.  Twenty-five percent of all Americans suffer from some form of mental illness.

The next time you are in a room with three other people look around.

In addition to John, Jr., Dr. Nash is also survived by another son, John Stier.

John Forbes Nash, Jr.  1928 - 2015
Alicia Lopez-Harrison Nash 1933 -2015
RIP

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Speeding Is the Least of My Infractions

Several years ago, I think about six years, I could look it up if it mattered,  it doesn't, we were traveling cross country in our G6 GT.  We had spent the night in
Kearney, Nebraska and in the morning we forsook the interstate and took US 34 westbound.

We were cruising along quite nicely and were probably thirty miles east of Benkelman when I spotted a grey car moving toward me in the eastbound lane.  I knew perhaps instinctively more than from visual evidence that it was a state trooper.  I glanced at the speedometer which read "76." Though I removed my foot from the accelerator pedal, I knew when he passed me that he was going to turn around.  He did.  I stopped at the flash of the red light.

"Good morning, sir.  License and registration, please."  I provided same.

"I had you at 72 miles per hour."

"That sounds about right."

BBBH speaks up from the passenger seat.  "We had been traveling on the interstate for a long time." Trying to be helpful, don't you know.

"Ma'am," replied the officer, "You have been off the interstate for quite some time."  He spoke truth.

The stalwart and faithful public servant wrote the ticket, handed it to me for my signature, told me he was giving me a "break" by noting "70" on the ticket which would reduce my fine, and advised me that I could either stop at the courthouse in Benkelman and pay the fine or I could mail it in.

We drove on to Benkelman and found a convenient parking spot on the courthouse square.  I went to the second floor where the sort of business I had was conducted.  The very nice lady cheerfully relieved me of $119.  Then she said, "About thirty miles out on 34?"

"Yes, ma'am.  Less than an hour ago."

"Yeah.  He got me there, too, week-before-last."

What? Cuts no slack for the locals?

I was later advised by a Nebraska resident that fines for speeding on the highway go to the public education fund in Nebraska.  Oh, goody.  That makes me feel so much better.  Maybe some kid will learn to distinguish "65" from "76."

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Thanks for Asking




1.  Yes, I drew the thing.
2.  Yes, a "self-portrait."
3.  Caricature; it's a caricature.
4.  No, I did not use a mirror.
5.  No, I was not looking at a picture.
6. So then it is how I see myself.
6.  Yes, my eyes are green.
7.  But perhaps not that shade of green.
8.  The  stache is not that long. (Anymore)
9.  Would someone who knew me recognize me?


You be the judge.
(This picture is well over a year old.  I am much better looking now.)

Monday, May 25, 2015

Journaling: Aztec Visit**

During our first evening with Joan and Wes, we drove into Farmington, half-dozen miles away and had dinner at a restaurant called "Zebediah's"  This is a good place to put on the feedbag if you are ever in the Four Corners area.  Much of the time in Aztec was spent in visiting and walking, rehearsing old times, and reciting our plans for the times yet to come.

We went again into Farmington and did antique mall, quite a good one as it turns out.  Jo bought stuff.  We had tacos for supper.  Of course we did, we were in New Mexico, after all.  The next day being Sunday we went to church with Wes and Joan at the Aztec Church of the Nazarene, their home church.  We had dinner at our hosts' home and lazed away the afternoon.





Monday morning, we visited Aztec Ruins National Monument which is only three or four miles from our base.  Were there really Aztecs in Northern New Mexico? you are supposed to ask.  No, of course not.  The Indians who occupied the area were the Anasazi, or "The People" as they designated themselves.  Very interesting site.  Don't miss it when you are in the area.





Lunch was at an authentic Mexican restaurant.  Food was great and available in whatever degree of "hot" one might desire.  Following lunch, we shopped around downtown Aztec.  Specialty and curio shoppes in some number, but Aztec as a center of commerce has seen its day if it ever had one.  Not so different in that regard from hundreds of other towns across the land since the advent of the suburban mall, the K-Mart, and the Walmart.  A bicycle ride cost us two new tubes.  I rode through a patch of goathead.  When I replaced the tubes I removed eight thorns from one tire, twelve from the other.




On Wednesday, October 22 we said our farewells to Joan and Wes who never fail to remind us that if we never meet again on this orb we have an appointment to gather together at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.  We drove through Farmington and Shiprock turning once again inadvertently to the south. We discovered the error and returned to Shiprock and continued on in our intended direction.  We did get some good shots of the Shiprock while on the detour.



We drove on a while, then took an intentional detour to the north in order to visit the Four Corners Monument.  As in every scenic overlook or point of interest which lies within the Indian Nation, the entire  area around the marker is surrounded by vendors' booths, which though constructed  of bare 2 x 4s and plywood and quite tacky in appearance, were occupied by skilled artisans, many plying their trade and all offering their wares for sale.  Beadwork, jewelry, pottery, blankets, and paintings were among the available items.  JoAnn bought stuff.  We ate fry bread and burgers, moved on down the road. -TBC


Standing in Four States.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

This is the Day the Lord Has Made

This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.  
--Psalm 118:24


The columbis, or the clematibine 

The flapper. Shutter too slow, or cameraman's reflexes too slow?
The latter, I think.