Friday, April 29, 2011

War Mongering Hawk

That was my reaction to the disappearance of the rock art of peace symbols along the desert trails behind the Saguaro SKP park.

Someone in the SKP park must have had investments in the Munitions and Armaments Mutual Fund(s). The last thing they would want is peace.

When I first arrived in early March, those peace symbols were there along with the arches and numerous other personal rock art designs and symbols. Couple of weeks later I noted that the peace symbols were gone. Didn't look like anything was in place of them. Just gone. Other frequent hikers also noted that the peace symbols were gone.

Shortly before I left the park on one of my morning hikes I decided to create a peace symbol along a trail.

Since I was on an everyday plan to hike those trails, I was out there the next morning and found that rocks from my symbol were allocated to create this symbol on the other side of the trail.

There were plenty of rocks around to create a separate symbol. Why destroy to create.

And just what is this symbol. Looks like the male and female symbols combined into one. A symbol for androgyny? Transvestite hiker?

Creating a peace symbol of rock certainly offended someone. Conquerors have been building atop destroyed cities for millennia. It appears this destroyer is doing the same. Take the rocks from the previous construction and build the conqueror's world.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Random Photo -- The Wave

When I was parked at Saguaro SKP park, there were several conversations about where to go hiking in southern Utah. Along with Antelope Canyon or other slot canyons near Page Arizona, I mentioned The Wave as one of those must sees. To prevent too much traffic, the BLM has instituted a lottery system for permits to hike to The Wave.

I was one of the fortunate few that was able to get a permit on my first try in May of 2003. This is a marvel of nature's artistry. Laying down the layers of sandstone for millions of years and later through wind and water erosion creating this phenomenal experience. The Wave is the only way to describe it.

From the BLM shores of Lake Powell at Page Arizona, I explored the area -- including The Wave. Other parking choices might be boon docking locations along Highway 89 in Utah.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cinnamon Roll

Right place. Right time. Serendipitous it was.

It's been a while since I've written about a cinnamon roll. Actually I gave up the search after far too many disappointments. A post dated September 11, 2008 was giving up the search and only returning to those bakeries remaining which had good cinnamon rolls.

It was a fortuitous time when I met Flora and Phil at A Great Location in Tucson for lunch. The small cafe with about ten tables is open 6:00 to 2:00 serving breakfast and lunch. Looking over the menu, under the breakfast sides was "cinnamon roll".

Not wanting disappointment, I asked the waitress about the source of the cinnamon roll. They are baked at the cafe. Wow. Wonderful. It was a relief to find that it wasn't a frozen Sara Lee cinnamon roll***. A cinnamon roll and a Greek omelet were my choices for lunch.

Omelet was delicious. The cinnamon roll was excellent with that balance of flavor and texture ranking near the top of favorite cinnamon rolls. However, since it had been so long since the last good cinnamon roll, perhaps it may have been unfair rating. Looks like I will have to make a return visit -- next year.

Exiting the cafe and paying for our lunches at the cash register, I noted the pan of cinnamon rolls. It was tempting to take one to go, but I declined.

***Years ago in the early 1990s, I was returning to Denver from a road trip along the North American Rockies. Driving the back roads of Idaho mid morning, I was ready for tea and a snack. I came upon a small town with the only business being a grocery store/gas station/restaurant combination.

I entered the restaurant and sat at the counter. Checked the menu and found "cinnamon roll". Great. The waitress came by and I ordered hot tea and a cinnamon roll. As she turned to walk away, I said that she shouldn't heat the cinnamon roll. She turned to me and asked, "Do you want it thawed?"

Monday, April 25, 2011

Not News

Here are just a few news items that seem to have missed the headlines:

The National Republican party decided that they would not run a candidate or support primaries for the US Presidency. Costs too much. Better to spend their billions on elections to make Presidential veto proof legislative bodies.

Some Senate and Congressional members are proposing more income tax reductions. They point to the lower unemployment numbers confirming that lower taxes are working.

Compared to other potential Presidential candidates, to compete fairly, somewhat hair challenged Mike Huckabee plans to get hair supplementation.

Donald Trump was asked to provide proof that his hair is 100% organic.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

No Trump

Not talking about the card game of Bridge, but the latest in news.

Been reading too much on the internet -- if that is what news can be called. The latest news -- and just in case you missed it (couldn't possibly happen unless there is no "news" in your life) -- Donald Trump is considering a run for the US Presidency.

Then when I read that he was tied in a straw poll for first place in that race, my first reaction was "Idiot America" at work once again. Recently read the book and reviewed here on this blog, Americans prove once again the premise of Idiot America with my comments in brackets:

"1) Any theory is valid if it sells books, soaks up ratings, or otherwise moves units. [Leads the news headlines]
2) Anything can be true if somebody says it on television.
[Trump on his reality TV show]
3) Fact is that which enough people believe. Truth is determined by how fervently they believe it.
[His idol factor and ranking on the polls]"

There are others who are much better writers sharing their thoughts. Here are a few:

Timothy Egan is concerned about The Danger of Donald Trump with an ego and penchant for self promotion.

Scott Adams writes in his blog about the Magnificent Bastard

David Brooks writes Why Trump Soars appeals to the American culture of thought that a brash loud mouth can fix the problems.

More interested in editorial cartoons. Check out this thread of Donald Trump election cartoons. (Hopefully this thread stays intact. If not, search for "Trump editorial cartoon".)

Enough of this....

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Change In Waist

How did the waist get larger when I didn't gain any weight. Wow. The perils of gravity are affecting my self esteem.

That 30 inch waist when I was 20 has steadily gotten bigger. Not sure what I expected. That was 50 years ago. Recently I've been good about hiking the hills every other day behind the park -- after it warmed up.

More walking and two meals a day are my approach to avoid another increase in waist size. That doesn't seem to work well. Habitual eating three times a day is an addiction that I find hard to overcome.

Considering that much of my clothing shopping is done at thrift stores and most of their men's clothes are extra large and 2XX and 3XX, there would be no problem keeping up with an expanding waist. Just can't do it. Serious case of vanity gets in the way of allowing that.

Took a while but vanity finally lost and I accepted the fact that I was balding and there was not enough hair for a comb over. A quarter inch buzz cut is my accepted hair style.

However, vanity keeps me from accepting a sagging chest hanging over my belt. I will allow you a moment to visualize that. Scary it is. 

Have to remember that the waist didn't grow to that size over night. Trying to convince myself to just keep walking and eating two meals a day. Yeah. Right. Easier said that done.

Note: Tried to find an appropriate photo to accompany this post without success. And I wasn't going to do a self portrait. Vanity wins. Perhaps a little Photoshop exercise would have made it acceptable. Not likely.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Too Many Choices -- More

Since it is doubtful that the comments of Wandrin's posts are read, it is appropriate to share Joe's comment to the recent "Too Many Choices" post:

"Multiply the toothpaste experience by all the other items on the shopping list. Up and down the aisles we confront non-fat, low sodium, "farm fresh," gluten-free, and on and on. Even the fresh produce poses conundrums. Do I want "locally grown," or "organic," or "non-genetically-engineered," or "least expensive?" 
Kinda makes you want to stop by the headache remedy aisle on your way out, but then you'd have to choose among ibuprofen, naproxen, acitamenophen, butalbital, gelcaps, coated pills, extra strength, WHAT? Get me outta here"

I could not have said it better.

No doubt you've experienced restaurants where the menu goes on for pages and pages. How do you make a choice. In those situations, I have found myself choosing something from the Appetizers. Whole lot easier.

Or then there are the 31 flavors at Baskin Robbins. More choices. How many varieties of chocolate to choose from. 

It can be paralyzing making a choice when there are too many.

That is the paradox of choice. Check out this ~20 minute video with Barry Schwartz on the Paradox of choice. (If you are not familiar with TED, check out some of their other speakers for learning and thoughtful talks.)

Don't want to sit through 20 minutes, the subject is also covered in an article at the New York Times or an this article based on material from the American Psychological Association. Want more? Google "Too Many Choices".

You may have already seen the photos of the snake swallowing the goanna. If your emails have not included it, check out this Snake Eats Giant Lizard post for the photos.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Too Many Choices

There was only a few more squeezes left in the tooth paste tube. That was a couple of days ago. Put "tooth paste" on the shopping list. This morning was a grocery shopping day.

First issue is to understand the organization structure of stores. Eventually found the toothpaste section in "Oral Care". Okay. Perhaps I will remember that for next time. Not likely.

Brand conscious and knowing what I was using would have made this a quick visit to the grocery store. Too many brands on the shelves and each with four or five choices each with words and bright colors announcing "brighter", "whiter", "cleaner", "anti-cavity", "fluoride", "minty"... etc. Copy writers and the admen worked overtime to make this decision as difficult as possible.

Since all toothpaste seemed to have the same words and probably the same active ingredients -- and inactive ingredients -- it wasn't an easy choice. Time to choose based on price. That plus the grocery store discount card, the tube of toothpaste was in my basket.

No more choices to be made at the grocery store. The rest of the shopping experience was quickly completed and I headed home.

Postscript: Amazing to find that the tube of toothpaste at home was the same that I had purchased.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Random Photo -- Crocus Blooms

Crocus may the earliest of spring blooms at the Denver Botanic Gardens. This photo was taken April 3rd 2001 as I prepared to begin life as a nomadic explorer.

After near freezing temps last evening, the colorful crocus were a welcome photo.

The color around Benson will be green -- sometime -- with few spring time flowers. Cottonwoods along the dry river bed of the San Pedro river have leafed out. The mesquite is still part of the brown landscape waiting for warmer days.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Dang Cold Here

42 degrees this afternoon after a morning high of 62. Predicted to get colder this evening. Fortunately no snow is predicted. The cold temps kept me from heading over to the clubhouse at SKP Saguaro for the afternoon social hour. Too cold (under 50 degrees) to walk there without long pants. Wandrin Wagon was warm. And I was paying the heating bill.

Catching up on my usual blogs, I found a post from Thom at RV Sabbatical which made me really long for a dip in hot springs. 80 degree air temperatures and 100 degree water sounds really attractive. Long way from 42 degrees!

Benson's temps may be cold, but in a couple of days it will be back to the mid 80s. Looking forward to the heat and a hike in the desert scrub west of the park.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Shmuck Voters Have Spoken

Did I miss something.

Voters went to the polls last year to elect new representatives who would enact laws to address the most important things in their lives. Two of those serious issues were anti abortion and the regulations that are issued by the EPA.

Wait a minute. I seem to recall the priorities were the economy, jobs and the Federal deficit.

Could this be.... Once elected, voters be damned. Time to address the legislator's personal or lobbyist agenda.

So if these guys get dumped in the next election, nothing is lost but a couple of years in Washington DC enacting legislation dictating the lives and livelihood of the US population.

There is no personal loss as Federal aristocrat legislators go out of office with the golden parachute of a great retirement and health care for life. Sure beats being one of those shmuck voters.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Random Photo -- Horse and Rider

In November of 2005, at Death Valley Days is where I was able to capture horse and rider. This was one of the few who actually looked like a cowboy. Or at least my idea of what a cowboy should look and dress like.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Gail and Mike have been building arches within the Saguaro SKP park and in the nearby scrub desert for several years. This is one of those along the hiking trail starting at the water tower.

A few days ago some park residents returned to their lot at the park to find an arch on their lot. This one was not built of rock, but of dehydrated meadow muffins. To prevent the frequent winds from toppling the "meadow muffin" arch, scat glue was found to keep the arch upright. Just so no one would misunderstood the arch material, some toy cows were added to the scene.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Don't Be Fooled

Be a skeptic. Don't be fooled. Don't believe everything you've heard or read. Question the source. Do some research to confirm or deny the claim.

Sure it takes time. But you owe it to yourself and others to question what is presented as fact.

Check out the chain emails at: Urban Legends Online or Snopes.

Check out the politicians at: and

Just because you heard it on TV or read it, that doesn't make it real. The media talking heads are in it for the money and the ratings for the advertising dollars. It isn't necessarily about truth let alone some portion. When hearing the same untruth for several days, isn't that brain washing. Eventually, a false hood becomes reality in the listeners mind. It has happened before.

Unfortunately, there is no one place to check up on the "opinion" that is espoused by the TV talking heads on those news channels. One site that does take jabs at press, TV news casters and others is The Daily Howler.

And then there is Donald Trump... Egads. Is this guy for real.