Desert Cat's Paradise
"The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it." - Proverbs 27:12.
Thursday, July 31, 2003
How ironic that Ashcroft's announcement today follows close on the heels of my post yesterday. Congratulations, Mr. Ashcroft. You busted up a big drug smuggling ring. But at a cost of how many billions of my tax dollars? And do you really think there will be any significant long term impact on the availability of drugs in this country? Do you really think there aren't a dozen more crime syndicates ready to step in and fill the gap? Your victory, unfortunately, is a hollow one.Comments
The only way to win the "war on drugs" is to establish a highly intrusive statist regime in this country. And that is a price, Mr. Ashcroft, that is far too high to pay.
posted by Desert Cat @ 2:12 PM | permalink
Wednesday, July 30, 2003
Jane's Security NewsComments
One of the latest psyops tactics in the "war on drugs" is to try to convince people that using illegal substances helps to fund terrorist activity. The link above would seem to support this contention.
However there is a quick way to de-fund terrorists that are using this funding mechanism. It was used effectively almost eighty years ago: Legalize. When liquor prohibition gave organized crime a virtually endless supply of funds and turned ordinary citizens into criminals, the country wised-up and reversed prohibition. Anything that the state does not have a compelling reason to keep illegal should be legalized to deny terrorists their funding mechanism. Additionally the state could tax the snot out of it if they so chose. For example, marijuana is less harmful than tobacco and alcohol. Other than the specious argument that it is a "gateway" drug, there is not a compelling reason to keep it illegal, and a good reason (denying terrorists a funding mechanism) to legalize it. Certainly it should remain illegal for minors, as alcohol and tobacco currently are. Let's not fool ourselves. The kids who want it have no difficulty getting it. Legalization would not substantially change that.
As for "hard drugs", those that are highly addictive as well as physically and psychologically very harmful, need to stay illegal. Examples may be heroin, crack, meth, etc. However, making certain drugs very difficult but not illegal to obtain (such as the procedure required to get a concealed carry permit for a handgun in many jurisdictions), would take a lot of wind out of the terrorist networks ability to capitalize on the demand. Let's not fool ourselves again. People who are determined to obtain these drugs manage to do so, despite the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on the "war on drugs". Having restrictive but sanctioned outlets could potentially take a lot of the profits out of terrorist hands.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:42 PM | permalink
Do the French really need more egg on their faces? Ah...yes, why not! :DComments
Frenchman phones Mommy when boat capsizes
posted by Desert Cat @ 1:04 PM | permalink
Hormel objects to the use of pictures of their canned meat product when the term "spam" is used in connection with unsolicited e-mail.Comments
Kind of like this?
Unsolicited Junk E-Mail
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:39 PM | permalink
Monday, July 28, 2003
Why does "diversity" end up looking so much like segregation or apartheid on so many college campuses?
Hmm, hmm, I say...
Could it be that the superficial goals of "diversity" really conceal an effort to divide us after all?
"The Balkanization of America". It serves one purpose--to create "group awareness" (really a subrogation of individual needs, desires and aspirations, to those of the group) that Democrats can then exploit to try to maintain or obtain political power. It is bad for the individuals thus afflicted. It is bad for America. But that doesn't matter to a liberal. The only thing that matters to them is the reacquisition of their power.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:25 PM | permalink
My apologies to those who left comments under the previous comment (Shout Out) system. The "klinkfamily" site apparently went down, and took the comments with it. I have now switched to HaloScan.Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:05 PM | permalink
Rice under fireComments
Why is it that the Demos want it both ways?
From sketchy information, we were supposed to have been able to deduce that Al-Qaeda was planning 9/11. But from more substantial information, we were supposed to ignore the continuing threat posed by Saddam Hussein, and "play nice" with mere words, diplomacy, ad infinitum, while he reconstituted his weapons programs.
Democrat hypocrites. Rush has a long list of quotes by prominent Democrats in his latest newsletter issue, that I am sure they would very much like to have us forget, now that campaign season is in full swing. It shows that during the Clinton years, and after 9/11 they were fully on board with the need to deal effectively with Saddam's WMD programs and aggressively pursue terrorists. Do they think we forget that Clinton sent hundreds of cruise missiles into Iraq after Saddam kicked the inspectors out?
Treasonous bastards! Now they're playing politics with national security!
The liberals are so desperate, that they have clearly thrown out the old, longstanding rule that politics ends at the water's edge.
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:54 PM | permalink
No, it's not that bad.
Bob Hope dies at 100
And life here goes on. One more awareness flickers, and goes out. As some would say. Or passes on to another existence, as I would say. Passes on, and we can't see through that veil, except briefly, in glimpses.
Perhaps God has him booked to entertain the troops of the armies of heaven now.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:16 AM | permalink
Friday, July 25, 2003
My apologies to Berke Breathed, but this one has been floating around as an e-mail attachment and arrived at my inbox today. It is a classic, and as relevant as ever!Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:57 PM | permalink
Thursday, July 24, 2003
I'm not sure why, but I found those photos of Saddam Hussein's sons Uday and Qusay to be very unsettling.Comments
Perhaps it has to do with the depths of their evil. I know I would not want to be within a mile (or ten miles) of those bodies. What ghouls are lurking I don't even want to contemplate. How many of those that they condemned to hideous deaths are now clamoring for a piece of them?
posted by Desert Cat @ 1:11 PM | permalink
Tuesday, July 22, 2003
"It's not a bald spot--it's a solar panel for a sex machine!"Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:02 PM | permalink
A little bit of unwelcome attention on the Virgin Shepherdess (Salvia divinorum) by Paul Harvey today.Comments
Why would you be so eager to see her banned, Mr. Harvey? Fool kids who would abuse her mostly don't keep abusing her, as she doesn't suffer fools gladly. But by drawing attention to Salvia on your nationally syndicated radio program, you have more than likely piqued the curiosity of many who may not have previously heard about the herb. And now some are likely to seek it out.
Salvia is not, and never has been suitable as any kind of substitute for other recreational substances. Therefore this is most emphatically not going to be the next "party drug". You mention overdose is unlikely. However you don't mention that no one has ever "overdosed", nor has anyone been documented to be harmed directly by consuming this herb. Furthermore, any effects on perception wear off rapidly--within ten to twenty minutes of ingestion. It is non-addictive; actually it is anti-addictive, as many who try it once or twice decide it is not for them.
This herb is suitable for use as part of a sacred religious ceremony, for seekers and diviners of various faiths. Its usage origins are with the Mazatec Indians of southern Mexico, who call the herb Ska Pastora, or "Virgin Shepherdess", and believe it is somehow connected to the Virgin Mary. Its ingestion produces a brief, sometimes intense, waking dream that fades within a few moments, leaving the participant with a pleasant sense of well-being. Ingesting too much merely causes the participant to forget the dream experience. Thus there is no motivation to ingest more than the correct amount. Also when ingested in a properly secure and quiet setting, the "waking dream" often reveals to the participant the source or cause of personal struggles, which some people would rather not face. Thus many who try it will not continue to use it.
The DEA and statist politicians would do well to choose their battles carefully. Do we really need to shell out yet more tax dollars attacking a "problem" that doesn't even exist at this point, and is unlikely to ever become a problem? Does law enforcement need yet another burden dealing with a non-problem, when there are real problems with hard drugs still to be dealt with?
Our society permits individuals to make personal choices about the use of such substances as alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine. If we are to be consistent, a ban on Salvia would need to be accompanied by a ban on alcohol as well, since alcohol is hallucinogenic in high doses too. Look at the statistics for the actual harm that alcohol does to individuals and to society, and tell me that you can justify its legality while banning less harmful herbs.
Leave Ska Pastora alone, and don't create a problem where one does not exist, please.
Center for Cognitive Liberty
posted by Desert Cat @ 1:21 PM | permalink
Monday, July 21, 2003
See here's the thing: Even if the war was about oil, even if we fought primarily to secure American access to Iraqi oil (it was not, but assuming it was so), that seems to me to be a pretty important strategic interest, particularly since I remember the economic blackmail this country endured during the infamous Carter years.Comments
Liberals are desperately trying to paint the liberation of Iraq as anything but the enforcement of UN resolutions against Saddam Hussein's WMD programs, cracking down on terrorist sponsors, and bringing stability and democracy to that corner of the globe. Worst for them is the fact that "Joe Sixpack" knows intuitively that even if the liberal spin is half the truth, it wouldn't have been such a bad idea anyway. But he doesn't believe most of it, because he trusts the President. He has not forgotten 9/11, and doesn't think that kicking ass on some other bad guys in pursuit of the 9/11 terrorists is such a bad thing.
Don't forget, my liberal friends, that these are the "Reagan Democrats", that famous blue-collar swing-vote group that has brought us most of the conservatism we have enjoyed over the last 20 years. Good luck getting Dean or Sharpton or (har!) Hillary to connect with them.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:51 PM | permalink
Sen. Biden says we have 60 to 90 days, hm? You must think we're a little stupid, huh Joe?
Perhaps he conveniently forgets that we still have troops in Kosovo? Oh, yes, my mistake! Clinton sent those troops, so it's okay that they are still there years later. Right...
Lest we forget, the United Nations never gave permission for the US to bomb the hell out of Kosovo either.
How different it is when the president in charge at the time was a Democrat...
Funny how the Demos and their sycophants are ok with missions where the US has no compelling strategic interests (Kosova, Liberia), but get their panties all in a bunch when we are looking out for ourselves (Afghanistan, Iraq).
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:10 PM | permalink
The Cat turns 40 today.Comments
Somewhere a baleful gong rings.
The sound of vultures rustling their wings.
Again, the gong sounds.
"2:10 PM, CDT"
The portal is crossed.
I look behind. The door stands open. I can look down the slope of the hill I climbed up, but I cannot cross back.
This is hitting me much harder than I anticipated. I am almost surprised. I really didn't expect anything more than some grumbling about it, and going on about maintaining a fiction of being 39 for a few more years. But I am in rather something of a funk.
The back side of the hill just came into view today. I knew it was there. I'd thought about it some, leading up to today. You know, the usual questions about whether your life up til now has had enough meaning, and whether the second half will have enough meaning and purpose to make old age a satisfying time. I don't want to be old with regrets. God, I don't! And I am afraid I might, because I tend to be so careful, so conservative. I have been so focused on building, building a solid financial future, building (literally) in my home, making it the way I want it, so I can do what I "really" want to do.
But now the back side of the hill has come into full view. God! Have I done enough? I've been working hard to make my future the way I want it. Now I am facing the fact that the future is here, ready or not. There is less point now in working hard now for a better future than there is in making sure today is all worthwhile for itself. Maybe that's why Alex's words resonate so with me. (And to think that chick is 29, not 39 hitting 40 like me. Lucky girl. She's doing it right, and it sounds like she has been for some time.)
It's now or never. And it scares me. I have to start doing what I want, not building toward doing what I want to do someday. Care is still needed, but I must guard against being too careful. This is as close to the halfway point as I can imagine I'll ever know. I blew off 35 as halfway, because I figured it is not 70, but 80 that seemed reasonable, given my grandparents ages at death. Well, 40 is half of 80.
What role will blogging have? I might have to eat some of my words. I seem to be into personal pathos mode today. Somehow the idea of the "permanent record", seems rather appealing to me today. Expect to see more along the lines of the "Listening to the Echo" piece below. That's been advised to me as good therapy anyway, and this is the most logical venue to post it in.
I will die at age 27, having lived 80 or 85 or 90+ years, good and bad, in sunshine and in rain. But I will not die at age 90. I will not! I will die in my youth, no matter how many years I live. I will not die at age 90, because I will not forget my destiny. And my destiny is not defined by these short days on this earth. God willing, 90 will be my youth of eternity. I will cross that next portal, fully aware and ready to enter in. I think I know already that I will be alone at that time, save for the presence of my Savior and the Comforter. And there will be no regrets! I will it now, God so help me!
posted by Desert Cat @ 1:08 PM | permalink
Sunday, July 20, 2003
Willie and Lobo were in concert this evening at the Tucson Museum of Art. Their music is rather difficult to categorize or describe. It is a fusion of Flamenco, Gypsy, Moorish, and a host of other musical influences (Hawaiian? Cuban? Jimi Hendrix?): or as Willie noted tonight, perhaps it could be called "acid gypsy flamenco". But it flows, it always flows, in melodies like liquid light that draw the listener in and carry them along to exotic lands.Comments
Willie is a talented violinist, who plays a custom made five string violin. The extra string allows him to reach into cello ranges, and with sound processing, into bass ranges. Lobo is a magnificent flamenco guitarist, whose talents are showcased in solo pieces, or with the accompaniment of Willie's strings. The fusions they create make their music among my top favorites.
This is the third time I have attended one of their concerts. I first turned on to their music at a listening kiosk at Borders. Shortly thereafter they came to Tucson, and I have been a fan since. Their ninth album "Manana" has been recently released. They played a few selections from the new album, and I noted that they seem to be continuing the trend toward some very beautifully melodic compositions, along the lines of "Hana Moon", from their "Wild Heart" album. I didn't bring cash to pick up my copy at the concert, but I know Borders carries it, and I will need to get it soon.
They have a website at
Thanks guys, for another wonderful concert!
posted by Desert Cat @ 1:02 AM | permalink
Friday, July 18, 2003
New Chip Can Be Implanted In HumansComments
How long before this technology gets linked up to the banking network, dispensing with the need to carry cash or credit cards? How long before it will be required (in the name of security and fraud prevention, of course)?
See where this is going...?
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:21 PM | permalink
Back to notoriety...Comments
I seem to be *very* searchable again :}
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:50 PM | permalink
Is this a storm, or a raindance?Comments
Are there raindrops falling on GWB's head, or is it just furious "wishing it were so" by the Democrats and their sycophants in the press?
It seems awfully contrived to me, blowing up all of a sudden months after that Niger intelligence was first discounted.
Sounds like wailing and stomping of feet and shaking of rattles to me...
posted by Desert Cat @ 3:37 PM | permalink
Thursday, July 17, 2003
So what's with this Democrat blitz on the president? "Liar!" will not stick. This is shameless partisan electioneering at the expense of national security. Given the ongoing attacks in Iraq, it amounts to giving aid and comfort to the enemies of the US, and emboldens them to continue attacking our troops. Treason may not be too harsh a word, Hillary's rant notwithstanding.Comments
What? We haven't found Saddam either. Does that mean he never existed too? Have any of you loonies given sober thought to just how easy it is to smuggle/hide these deadly chemicals and other incriminating equipment? I mean one Iraqi led US troops to some WMD equipment buried beneath his rose bushes for crying out loud! The fact that they have not been found yet, most certainly does not mean there was never a problem, and thus that we went to war under false pretenses. No, in fact the very fact that we have not found them means that we still have a problem, perhaps bigger than before, because now we don't know where they may have been moved to.
Everyone, Democrat, Republican, American, French, German, United Nations, was convinced of the evidence from 1992 onward. In 1998 your Bill Clinton and your Senate leaders urged action to deal with the problem of Saddam's WMD programs. No partisan flavor then, I note. Even Saddam himself did not hide the fact that he had WMD programs, though he claimed to have destroyed them (with no evidence submitted!) after 1992.
So why all this "liar! liar!" bull? Pure partisan political shenanigans. You Democrats should be ashamed of your leaders.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:34 PM | permalink
It is scary the pathos displayed in some people's weblogs. Here is an unnervingly bad example:Comments
that, with some related things, were why my head hurt the other night. i think i just generally don't like how much time michelle spends with raemie, and how she acts when she does. raemie has never been one of my favorite people. and yeah, maybe i am jealous, because they work together and are having so much fun going out together, but what gets me the maddest is how just about a week ago michelle was saying that she really didn't consider raemie a good friend, just someone fun to go out with, then a few days ago she's telling me she thinks raemie could replace the-other-rachel because she lives in orlando and never really visits or anything, which is a whole nother story entirely. raemie will never replace rachel. she still hasn't even paid me back for my favorite sunglasses that she lost at the beach on flag day. that's not cool at all.
you know, michelle complains about the-other-rachel, and how she seems to think that we will just always be here for her no matter how often she blows us off, and how michelle says it's gotten to the point that she won't be there for her anymore. but how is what she's doing to me different? not just this time with raemie. last spring semester at school, how often did i feel replaced by michelle's new friends from her dorm? and then we get back here for summer and michelle tells me how they're all really crazy and psycho and they were just cool to go out with. so why would you ignore a good friend for that? is that what's going to happen with raemie when we go back to school? all i'll hear about is how she's not really her friend? why do i feel like the backup, only good when there's no one more fun to go out with?
don't get me wrong, michelle can have other friends. i'm not the psycho girl that gets all possessive about her best friends and doesn't want them to talk to anyone else. but just the same, i shouldn't feel put out and ignored and replaced everytime she starts hanging out with someone new. why does it always have to be a 24 hour a day 7 day a week friendship? why can't i ever call michelle and have her not be with raemie, have it not feel like i'm interrupting something? and when i do hang out with michelle without raemie, could i please not hear a story involving her every 10 minutes? that would be nice.
This is what people dwell on? This is what moves them to write?
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:12 PM | permalink
Wednesday, July 16, 2003
So my estranged brother has a weblog too. His is a conversion of his old website, dedicated to articles related to asp programming: aspZone.comComments
If you need to know something programming related, he probably knows.
The kid's a friggin' genius. And he knows it too...
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:50 PM | permalink
Tuesday, July 15, 2003
I am Desert Cat.Comments
There are none else besides me.
Yes, there are many others who use my name, who like how it sounds, are enamored of the ring it has. They have taken my name, registered themselves all over the net. But unlike me, they are not me. They do not live in the desert and are not a cat. I am both a cat and do live in the desert. They do not become me by stealing my name. One fancies herself to own the domain, but she does not. Dot-net is my own. Dot-com will become mine in time.
I am Desert Cat. I have been Desert Cat since before the Worldwide Web took form. My name was birthed on the day I settled here. I begat my moniker, out of the union of my nature and my place. I have lived in the tundra of the northlands, where bitter cold gives way to hordes of insects in a swampy, sickly summer. I have visited the jungle, where the swelter sticks to the skin like unruly plastic wrap, and the night brings no relief. But my home is the desert, and I am content.
I am Desert Cat. Languid and laconic, I spring to action when I please. Don't be fooled by my purr, my snarl may be a millisecond away. I love attention, but when I've had enough, don't follow me. Enjoy my presence, but dare not presume upon me. I do not particularly enjoy the company of my own kind, yet I could not live without knowing they are near at hand. The best things in life are embodied by a nap in a sunny spot on a beautiful summer afternoon.
There are none else besides me.
I am Desert Cat.
posted by Desert Cat @ 3:50 PM | permalink
Sunday, July 13, 2003
The rains came.Comments
Yesterday on the mountain, about a half inch fell in some areas. Today a storm swept through my neighborhood.
Sitting on the roof as it blew in, with Mitzi in my lap, a good-sized thunderclap made the roof itself shake. Mitzi was unfazed though. "Lap-time" is sacred, and no silly storm approaching is enough to end it abruptly. But as the wind howled, lightning continued striking, and scattered raindrops blew in from the approaching storm, I insisted that we get down and seek shelter. She protested, but finally assented.
A few moments later the rain came in sheets blowing horizontally. I put on a raincoat and went out into it, to see how the water was draining into the lot across the street. We recently bought the lot, and I want to harvest more rainwater to water new desert trees I will be planting there. I decided I will need to cut a wider swale and do some other modifications to take greater advantage of deluges like this one.
My shoes were soaked in no time in the deluge, so I went back inside and watched the storm with Melinda from the front door. Within a half hour it was over. Lightning continued flickering on the western horizon. I went back outside, taking in the fresh scents of wet desert vegetation and moist earth that had not felt moisture for half a year.
The outdoor cats came out of their hidey-holes. Most of them stayed dry, although Mitzi was damper than the rest. Apparently she still hadn't taken the storm seriously enough after I got off the roof. I really don't know where some of them find refuge from a rainstorm, but mostly they all do, emerging from the most unlikely corners with hardly a drop on their fur.
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:05 AM | permalink
Thursday, July 10, 2003
Here is an article about enviro-wacko obstructionism:Comments
The Rodeo-Chediski fire torched the Mogollon Rim last year, turned it into an ashen heap. These wackos, the "Forest Conservation Council" or some such name are trying to prevent salvage operations in the burned areas, because an Environmental Impact Statement was not properly filled out. What?! The forest is destroyed, the Forest Service wants to permit someone to cut down the burned, destroyed trees for their salvage value, and these wackos are concerned about a technicality?
It makes no sense until you realize that these people are communists. The word "profit" is a swear word to them. Because someone might make a few dollars by taking out dead, burned, destroyed trees, they have a hissy-cow. The only impact will be to the political, legal environment that these nut-crunchers are trying to create.
Even Janet, our famously liberal governor says "enough!" to the legal wrangling.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:31 AM | permalink
Wednesday, July 09, 2003
And oddly enough, now I can't enter any search string at all, including the title of this site, and get it to show up in a Google search. What gives?Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:15 PM | permalink
I just read an excellent line from Paul Greenberg (Editor, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette): "The American system separates church and state, not faith and society." This was in an article about the California Apellate Court decision to strike reference to God from the Pledge of Allegiance.Comments
Good point, Paul, and one too often missed (deliberately?) by the anti-religious bigots in our midst.
Of course it may also be going too far to say the American system explicity separates church and state, as that particular phrase is nowhere to be found in our country's founding documents. Rather, the federal government is forbidden from meddling in religious affairs, either to promote or to prohibit. The anti-religious bigots have taken the first to heart, while studiously ignoring the second.
Furthermore, the Constitution reserves to the individual states or to the people, all rights and powers not expressly granted to the federal government. This gives Constitutional sanction to inscriptions of the Ten Commandments and other religious references on statehouses and courtrooms across this land. The only resolution is for the federal government to take a completely neutral stance in regards to religious expression. Attempts to purge all reference to God from the public sphere can hardly be construed to be neutral in reference to religion, as this tends to bolster the atheist, materialist perspective.
Even an honest atheist ought not object, as he is his own god.
posted by Desert Cat @ 2:22 PM | permalink
I just made a startling discovery! This page shows up fairly high on a Google Search when I enter keywords related to just about everything I have written about here. Cool or scary?
For example, I enter: "Paul Harvey Aspen fire", and I show up on page 1.
Or "Alex the girl kindred spirit", also page 1!
I'd better cross my "t"'s and dot my "i"'s...so much for anonymity in the crowd.
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:32 AM | permalink
Tuesday, July 08, 2003
I read (rapid scanned) a book last night at Borders: Lynn Grabhorn's "Dear God, What is Happening To Us?" The author is a New Ager turned apocalyptic prophet. She has come to the conclusion that many (most?) of the "guides" that New Agers rely upon are really agents of darkness hellbent on using us for their own diabolical purposes.Comments
She also seems to think this is "new, never before revealed!!" information. Well she has the first part right, probably closer to the truth than anything I have ever seen written by a New Ager. But the second part, well, she couldn't be more wrong.
I don't mean just the Judeo-Christian-Muslim worldview, but one of her own, Carlos Castaneda, wrote about these dark beings. I believe he called them "Flyers", and described them in very similar terms as she does.
"You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
However I think (predict) the vast majority of the New Age community will reject what she has to say.
posted by Desert Cat @ 2:04 PM | permalink
Monday, July 07, 2003
Paul Harvey is batting 0 for 2 on information about the Aspen fire on his syndicated ABC radio show.Comments
Last week he reported that it was a car fire that started the blaze. I e-mailed him to inform him that, without a road up to Marshall Peak where the blaze started, that was quite unlikely. Not to mention, no local reports have said anything remotely similar.
Today he reported that 300 homes had burned in Ventana Canyon. Again I e-mailed him to inform him that no homes had burned in Ventana Canyon, and the likelihood of any burning was small. The only 300 homes that burned were in Summerhaven on Mount Lemmon, nowhere near Ventana Canyon.
I'm beginning to lose confidence in what I hear from him.
A couple of years ago, he made some silly comments about how sad it was that people no longer dress in a regional traditional style, specifically that Arizonan's no longer dress in cowboy suits. Seeing a photo of him in Arizona Highways some time later, decked out in a gaudy rhinestone cowboy getup, I had to laugh! Mr. Harvey, no one EVER dressed like that in Arizona, except maybe in the 1970's after the release of Travolta's "Urban Cowboy" film. And furthermore, in rural Arizona, real cowboys still dress as they always have, in practical work clothes suited to the task at hand.
As a bigshot with ABC, perhaps Mr. Harvey should be urged to dress in the traditional style, with a tophat and tux with tails! :D
Now for the real news, not "th-h-h-he resTT of the story": Humidity levels rose overnight, knocking down the fire in it's advance down Ventana Canyon. Fire crews were planning a backburn for this morning, but decided instead to switch to dumping retardant, hoping to finish it off in that area. Organization Ridge seems to be safe at the moment. Fire is still creeping forward toward the back of Pusch Ridge and toward the southeast, but no structures are in imminent danger.
posted by Desert Cat @ 2:22 PM | permalink
Sunday, July 06, 2003
When you do an act of charity, is it to please the person you are serving, or to please your Lord?Comments
I am still mulling some of the things Pastor Jose Arimborgo said to us when he presented us his tokens of appreciation near the end of our time in Iquitos. Through the translation, I am sure some of it was muddled, but he spoke of the spirit of service he sensed in us, and contrasted it to the prideful way that some people offered their services. He seemed genuinely moved by what we had done and how we had done it. So it has lodged in my soul, and caused me some reflection.
I guess it boils down to that basic ego problem on the one hand. On the other hand, I can sincerely say that I was not motivated by a desire to obtain gratification from being appreciated for what we came down there to do. I am basically a self-centered and selfish person. My motivation was to do the will of the one with whom I have cast my lot, because his kudos mean everything to me. It was abundantly clear to me that our going was his will. And as it turns out, probably the most important part of our going was merely as couriers of an important piece of equipment for the Arimborgo ministries.
On returning, I feel grateful for the chance to have gone, grateful for the way they paved the way for the clinics and facilitated the evening showing of the film and kept us well-fed, grateful to have been part of an effort that looks like it will have lasting and continuing impact.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:56 PM | permalink
I've been reading a bit more from Alex's archives on her site this evening.Comments
It kind of unnerves me, this sense that I am reading the writings of a kindred spirit. She expresses so well, many things that I also feel, but probably couldn't put into words in quite the same way.
I am, like I mentioned, impressed.
(I should probably add as a postscript, that I don't necessarily share her views on politics and religion. But that's not what I was talking about anyway.)
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:15 PM | permalink
Saturday, July 05, 2003
Five homes were lost in Willow Canyon overnight, no other structures were lost during the day today, they say. KUAT Channel 6 went off the air though, due to unknown problems at the transmitter site on Mount Bigelow.Comments
They're sounding optimistic now. The fire passed through Willow Canyon, so the likelihood of losing more homes there is reduced. But it could still get into the timber higher up and threaten that last stand along and near Organization Ridge.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:35 PM | permalink
I stumbled into the bathroom this morning, still bleary-eyed from sleep. There is a note on the mirror:Comments
"Hang fish up?"
My lovely esposa wants me to mount the curios I bought in Iquitos...
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:22 AM | permalink
Listening to the EchoComments
Not knowing what happened at the uttermost end is a sore spot.
Sitting in misery flat one bleak January afternoon, my phone rang. It was a cheap phone. It was issued by the phone company, but it was not the traditional cradle set. It was a "newfangled" slimline, but it was hard to hear through it.
My flat had steam heat, and the radiator emitted a constant hissing and whistling whenever the boiler was on. It was probably ten degrees below zero (Fahrenheit) outside, deep in the grips of a Minnesota winter--cold that gets into your bones and wraps around your whole being.
The phone rang. It was her!
She asked how I was doing. I told her I was fine.
I told her I had a new girlfriend, which was true.
It didn't last long afterwards though. She was a confused Mormon girl. And I was still falling, falling like Icarus. It was inevitable that a misunderstanding would end it soon.
The steam heat whistled and hissed. She said something else. I couldn't hear. I put on a brave face, said some things about how people's expectations seemed to influence me in awkward social settings. I told her I was sorry that I wasn't able to be what she wanted me to be. I couldn't hear her though.
I couldn't hear! She said some things to me in a voice so soft, it seemed like she was somewhere she didn't want to be overheard. I couldn't hear a word of what she said to me. I was so full of pain and bravado though, that the conversation somehow ended without me having any idea of what she called to tell me.
That has haunted me for decades.
It was the last time I had any contact with her. I tried writing letters. I wanted to work through the pain, try to understand. I wanted to find out what she said that I couldn't hear. She never answered any of them. Not one. The letters trailed to an end about 2-3 years later. But that scratchy, unintelligible phone call on that bleak January afternoon still echoes in my soul; an empty, unresolved place.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:26 AM | permalink
Friday, July 04, 2003
I'm looking for my lost soul of poetry.Comments
I used to have one, years ago.
Oh, I still have one. It's here somewhere, buried in all this clutter.
No regrets for the past. But understanding is important. Understanding is everything. Because when you understand, then you can let go. Understanding takes courage, because it may not be the way you want it to have been.
I had a girl, many years ago. I threw myself into loving her--poured everything I had into wanting her--dreamed of being with her day and night.
She let me go.
To say I was crushed would be a tremendous understatement.
It took me years.
They say that when astronomers point their radio-telescopes into the uttermost depths of the universe, they can still hear echoes of the big bang at the creation of the universe.
The pain is long gone. I managed to pull the scraps of my soul together again in the years that followed. But there is still an echo when I listen. And there are parts of me I have never found since.
Funny thing, she's still out there. I actually found her recently, thanks to the marvel that is the Internet. But like a dog chasing a car wonders what to do if he ever catches one, I really wonder what the point is. The greeting on Classmates went unanswered. I thought about dropping a postcard in the mail from Peru, addressing it to Bilbo and signing it Gandalf. I didn't though.
I don't even know what I would say if I called. I'd love to talk about everything under the sun. Kind of work backwards from where we left off, until I had gotten back to what I had and what I was before I ever met her. Martha, you stubborn fool! What do you think my intentions are anyway?
Barring that, I am looking to blog, blog until I have blogged everything. Blog my entire being. Blog until everything has been laid out, stretched out like a hide on a rack, exposed to the searing sun to be purified. Blog as a form of recapitulation. Castaneda was a fraud and a thief, but he was also a genius. Wherever he got that from, it is worth something in the end.
Pardon my obscurity of meaning, you who may have stumbled upon this. This is but the beginning of my nakedness of soul.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:52 PM | permalink
"It was evening all afternoon..."Comments
The light filtering through my trees and into my windows turned an eerie coppery orange just after noon today. I went outside just in time to see the fire crest the ridge above Esperero Canyon. It's downhill to the Foothills from there. Reports are that they expected the fire to reach Willow Canyon this afternoon, and continue uphill toward Organization Ridge and Palisades.
So much for that last unburned strip...
Tucson Citizen Photo Gallery
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:48 PM | permalink
Thursday, July 03, 2003
Solved the problem of wierdness in IE. Also I look less like Alex's page now.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:05 PM | permalink
Tuesday evening, too late to go online to post, I realized something about blogging: Some blogs are a form of public nudity--nakedness of soul. But in the midst of ten million other naked souls, who notices?Comments
Everyone wants to be noticed. Everyone wants to feel significant. Everyone wants to be coddled and pampered and told how important and worthwhile they are. Face it. Everyone wants power and authority and worshippers at their feet. "Everybody wants to rule the world." And if someone thinks they are different, somehow less egotistic because they do not blog, they are deceived. Their desire for worship just manifests differently. Some of the most pathetic examples of human self-deception occur with those who fail to recognize this motivation. How many relationships could be characterized as two egos demanding worship and expressing their disappointment at not receiving it, in the form of bitterness, anger and animosity? I'm sure you can think of a few. Perhaps one of your own?
Here's the irony: The Creator has declared us worthwhile, significant and important when he chose to become one of us and die as a substitute for our deserved destruction. He did this in order to restore a relationship between us and himself that is capable of giving us all the security and worth we could imagine, and ten thousand times more. Yet who realizes this and avails themselves of it? Even amongst Christians who should know this, how many still clamor for attention, respect, "self"-esteem (who needs it when the Author of the Universe has esteemed you beyond His own life?), position, authority, ego-gratification, and everything else that is a manifestation of the "natural" self?
Here is another irony, and a huge secret (*shh!*): If you could subordinate your own self-importance and learn to manipulate the self-importance of others, you probably could rule the world.
Huh huh, good luck! You'll be like the dog chasing his tail if you try that one. :D
At least, unless you get some help.
I thought I knew what this blog could be good for, but now I am not sure. Strip naked in the public square, counting on the other nine million nine hundred ninety nine thousand nine hundred ninety nine naked egos to hide within? The "why" would be as therapy of sorts. Being heard is what is important to an ego. When it remains unspoken, is disregarded, disrespected, trashed and despised, that it becomes a dangerous thing, capable of setting the world on fire. Perhaps if it is laid bare from end to end, even in a sea of ten million others, it will lose some of it's potency, and I can walk away unscathed. Unsure, because it may still be noticed. And judged. Still another irony there, the ego seems to have a simultaneous desire to be noticed above all else and worshipped, and a fear of being noticed and despised. Ah! The humanity!
posted by Desert Cat @ 4:34 PM | permalink
What's with the bizarre formatting when I view this page in IE? POS browser... >:^[Comments
It looks just fine in Mozilla!
posted by Desert Cat @ 2:18 PM | permalink
Sabino Canyon inferno as of yesterday afternoon:Comments
7-2 Tucson Citizen
posted by Desert Cat @ 2:16 PM | permalink
Tuesday, July 01, 2003
I just realized, that when I reformatted this page, I seem to have subconsciously mimicked a number of the elements of Alex the Girl's site. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, they say.Comments
She has the luxury of "space" in her life. It shows in her writing. What I mean by "space" is really psychological space, measured in unpressured time, giving her the ability to reflect, and to simply "be" instead of "do". I kind of envied her. But then I realized as I always do when I think about it, that having space is a decision as much as anything.
She has also written enough to be really good. I have linked her site, so I can go back and read more when I need some inspiration.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:47 PM | permalink
It looked to me a couple times this afternoon that the fire was blowing up pretty bad in the west fork of Sabino Canyon. They reported a hot spot near the Wilderness of Rocks late yesterday, and it looks like it took off today. No reporting on it that I could find so far though. This fire path threatens to travel back uphill and wipe out that last strip that's left around Palisades.Comments
Here's how it looks from Catalina:
7/1 Tucson Citizen
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:01 PM | permalink
I had to take a photo of these tomatoes before I picked them. This is in my cubicle at work. There is a 10'x15' skylight/atrium directly above my cube.Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:45 PM | permalink
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