Desert Cat's Paradise
"The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it." - Proverbs 27:12.
Monday, July 31, 2006
...I really am, to get another day's worth of vacation photos up. Photoblogger is being a pissy little bitch this evening and keeps crapping out on me.Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:53 PM | permalink
Driving in to work today I glanced over as I crossed the bridge, then did a double-take. The usually empty, tree-filled wash was a raging brown deluge bank-to-bank and within a couple feet of the top of the bank protection.Comments
It rained all night after raining pretty regularly since last Thursday. Once the desert soil reaches saturation, any additional rain just dumps into the washes. And there's been enough rain to saturate the watersheds days ago.
The problem is that the enviro-wackos won't allow the County to keep the washes cleared of brush and small trees. When it floods like this, the trees all uprooted anyway and become a major hazard for the bridges, as the debris catches on the piers and puts a dangerous level of additional pressure on the supports. The water at the railroad bridge at the freeway was reportedly up to the bottom of the struts. A few more inches and debris will begin to lodge there, putting that bridge at risk. The overtopping of the bank protection reported in the link below may also be a result of debris clogging downstream bridge crossings.
Damn I hate enviro-wackos!
Rillito reported topping its banks | www.azstarnet.com
Update: Some photos HERE.
Update2: More photos
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:40 AM | permalink
Sunday, July 30, 2006Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:31 PM | permalink
Saturday, July 29, 2006
In answer to the question regarding the "unknowability" of the time of the return of Christ, I commend this essay by Isaac Newton: The Newton ProjectComments
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:30 PM | permalink
Saturday July 22, 2006Comments
Today we decided to drive the length of Going To The Sun Road from one end to the other, stopping along the way wherever the views got too stunning to pass by. We wanted to get the "stop-and-gawk" done the first day, while also refreshing our memories and orienting ourselves to the hikes we'll do later in the week.
Going To The Sun Road was constructed in the 1930's by the Great Northern Railroad, together with a series of lodges in and around the area that would later become Glacier National Park. Their aim was to increase tourism within the US and thus boost their train ridership. They succeeded spectacularly, and Going To The Sun Road traverses some of the most breathtaking alpine scenery in the world.
It is amazing to me how many people think they have seen the park when they drive around the south side of it on Highway 2. It is nothing whatsoever like what one sees when crossing through the park!
The west side of the park receives more rain than the east side, and the vegetation reflects this. On the west side is a heavy mixed deciduous and coniferous forest, including firs, spruces, pines, cedars, larches, hemlocks, maples, alders, birch, and more. The east side has fewer species and more open meadows between the trees. Having lived on the east side for two summers, I am a partisan. I love the east side far more than the west side. And the geology is more stunning as well, partly because it is more visible, and partly because of the particular way the rocks were shifted by tectonic forces and then later carved by the glaciers.
Going To The Sun Road follows Lake McDonald from the west, then McDonald Creek, before beginning its precipitous climb to Logan Pass. After Logan Pass, the St. Mary Valley opens out, and the road continues along St. Mary Lake after the descent from Logan Pass, ending at the town of St. Mary, Montana.
Lake McDonald in morning light.
Going To The Sun
Bird Woman Falls
Bird Woman Falls up close through the blue haze
Cascade from the Garden Wall
McDonald Creek from above
Logan Creek Valley looking toward McDonald Creek
Logan Creek Valley looking toward Logan Pass
"Krummholz" at Logan Pass. Krummholz is the name given to the miniature trees high in the mountains near the treeline. A combination of very short growing season and very long and severe winter conditions keep the trees to bonsai size. The same species in a slightly more favorable location can tower 30 to 50 feet high.
Monkeyflower at Logan Pass
Hanging Gardens at Logan Pass. Tomorrow we plan to hike up through the gardens and beyond to Hidden Lake on the other side of the pass.
Colombia ground squirrel. These guys are ubiquitous up here, and most of them are quite nonchalant about the presence of humans. It is not that they are tame, it is that they have no time to worry about us--they only have about two months to eat eat eat to put on enough weight to survive the next ten months!
And they do. When they're not sitting up taking a quick look around, they're munching on alpine flowers and leaves like a miniature lawn mower.
Fed by the melting snow in the pass, this stream cascades out of the Hanging Gardens into the St. Mary Valley.
Logan Pass from the St. Mary side.
Raisin bus near Siyeh Bend. These are the original 1930's tour buses that the railroad used to give tours through the park to visitors. Called "raisin buses" by us park area employees because the ridership is composed almost exclusively of the over 50 crowd.
Upper St. Mary Valley from high above.
Jackson Glacier. The mountain visible on the right side of the clearing is Mt. Jackson.
In my younger and foolhardy days, I took a notion to climb that mountain one day while camping in the Gunsight Lake area below. Wandering out toward the glacier, I looked up at the first ridge and thought to myself, "I can climb up there, no problem." Once there I looked at the ridge and decided I could follow it further up a ways. Of course I kept going, and soon the summit itself was the goal.
At one point I looked down on Gunsight Lake, and it seemed straight down a half mile away. At another point the clouds closed in and I looked down toward an ice field and saw nothing.
White nothingness. It felt for all the world like I was standing on the edge of a vast white abyss. Sudden irrational terror made me grip a boulder for dear life until the panic subsided. I decided that looking down would be a bad idea from here on, until I made the summit.
I finally reached the top, and though the views were largely obscured by the clouds that had rolled in, I exulted. Alone and without any equipment I had made the summit! I left a note in the summit register and started down.
But things were not quite familiar. The rocks were tilted wrong, and after jumping down a 6-8 foot cliff that presented itself, the clouds cleared enough to reveal to me that I was proceeding down the wrong face of the mountain into one of the most remote valleys of the park. I backtracked to the cliff, but found there was no way for me to get back up, no matter what I tried.
I sat down and contemplated the long ice fields ahead of me and the streams glimmering in the sunlight far below, beyond the tree line. For a moment I considered sliding down them, hoping somehow to make it to the bottom alive and in few enough pieces to pull myself home.
But I knew that was suicidal. The glacial ice field was covered with deep crevasses, and hitting any one of them would likely rend my limbs from my body. And without an ice pick, there was no way to control my speed as I descended. This all passed through my thoughts in a fraction of a second as another wave of panic hit me.
I cried out to God for help.
I looked to my right and saw a peculiar visual distortion. It seemed a faint path was illuminated--where the rest of the landscape was shaded in misty clouds--tracing along the side of the mountain in that direction.
My mind raced with thoughts. I realized in another fraction of a second that it was the tilt of the sedimentary rocks that had trapped me, and that if I followed that path *around* the mountain, I'd come to a place where the rocks were tilted the opposite way and the steps would become small and traversible again!
Thank you Jesus!
I tore around the mountain, found the rocks as I had surmised them to be, and raced up a nearly vertical chute (no looking down, thank you) back to the summit. This time carefully, carefully, praying to my God every step of the way, I found my ridge in the fog and made my way back down. Praise God!
By now it was very late evening, and my shift at night watch began soon. But I packed up camp post-haste and boogied back out, making it home in time for my shift.
Roscoe Black, the general manager, had some harsh words for me when he learned what I had done. But I was way too gleeful at my exploit to pay them much mind. Lots of nodding and "yessir", while a smug, satisfied grin hid inside.
Upper St. Mary Lake
Wild Goose Island--one of the seven most photographed places in the world, I am told. No wonder! What an amazing composition the island makes with the arc of the mountains in the background.
Wild Goose Island
Driving the lower reaches of the east side of the park toward St. Mary, I said to Daisycat, "it's beginning to feel like we're coming home."
As we turned the final corner toward the park entrance, a tingle began on the top of my head. It traveled down my body. My facial muscles began to move under their own volition.
Passing the exit gate, the landscape to the south took on a very familiar arrangement. I was weeping now. I pulled over and said, "I need to take this in."
Standing on the side of the road, looking at the sweep of the St. Mary Valley, the familiar savannah-like grasslands, the distant peaks in their oh-so-familiar arrangement, I was weeping like I was bereft.
Triple Divide Peak--south
Red Eagle Mountain--southwest
Like an orchestra responding with a full-throated C-major chord in response to a single clear C note played on a tuning pipe, the sight of this valley triggered a flood of unknown emotion that burst forth unexpectedly from deep wells.
The falcon flies full circle, and after twenty years he lands again on the upraised fist.
It was nineteen autumns ago I last set my eyes upon this sight, and my world is a very different place. Yet...it is so much the same. Ten thousand times I looked that way in the course of my daily activities, and the scene is etched in stone in my memory. Twenty years became a moment ago, and the gates burst open.
It is unknown because I had and still have no idea what emotion I was experiencing. Nor do I know when it returns at my remembrance.
I am unaccustomed to feeling things that I do not comprehend.
Twenty summers ago here I began to heal and grow again. And nineteen summers ago I loved, and lost...and loved again. Nineteen autumns ago Daisycat and I last looked upon this valley as we left our jobs a week early and headed for the Washington coast to get away for a while before returning home together to Minnesota and the mundane world of college and jobs and building a life.
We decided today that when we retire, God willing, we will return to this park and spend an entire summer here again--this time it will be full time hiking, exploring, and enjoying.
New facility--the Great Bear Lodge, built around 2003.
After poking around the town, looking through everything new and familiar, we had enough time in the day yet for a hike. We stopped on the way back at the trailhead for the St. Mary Falls and Virginia Falls trail. This trail descends into the St Mary Valley from the road, crosses the St. Mary River just above the lake at the falls, and then ascends the other side of the valley to Virginia Falls.
St. Mary Falls trail
St Mary Falls
The turquoise waters of the park are a result of "glacial flour"--finely ground rock that makes its way into the streams and lakes from the melting edge of the glaciers. The fine powder creates the same effect with light that the fine particles of moisture and dust in the atmosphere create to make the sky and the distant mountains blue.
This river has a modest amount of glacial flour. There are lakes in the park adjacent to major glaciers that are nearly opaque with glacial flour and have a blue-white milky appearance.
Turquoise Luminescence below St. Mary Falls
St Mary River
posted by Desert Cat @ 1:01 PM | permalink
It's been raining, raining since early this AM. Not the usual thunderstorm downpour, but a steady rain. Daisycat says it started about 4:30 AM and it's still going strong.Comments
The temperature was 68 degrees when I checked an hour ago, and it's only getting to 83 degrees today for the high.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:26 AM | permalink
Friday, July 28, 2006
I'm going to trickle out the photos, etc. over the next several days, together with the blogposts I drafted each day. I won't try to back date them, but will note the appropriate day in the post. Starting with a week ago:
Friday, July 21, 2006
Looks like we brought Arizona with us--the high tomorrow is supposed to be 105 degrees F!
Beat to a pulp after a long day of travel, but it is great to be back here after nearly twenty years. Daisycat was carrying on about all the green trees and grass "that don't need irrigation to grow!!" Of course the downside is the long dreary cloudy winters that this side of the park experiences. And on the St Mary (east) side (where we lived and worked two decades of summers ago), the winters are sunnier, but bitter, bitter cold.
But the lushness of the Flathead Valley was a welcome sight. As we approached Kalispell, we were flying right along the mountain wall that rises sharply to the east, and as we banked to turn into the airport, the verdant, water-pocked valley was directly below out the windows on the other side.
We're staying a ways out of the park on the other side of Colombia Falls at a place called Meadow Lake Resort. The resort that we wanted right on the park boundary was booked solid. This resort is set in the midst of an 18-hole golf course that also doubles as a base camp for skiers in the winter. Not that we have any intention of doing any golfing, but it is a very pleasant place to stay nonetheless.
Just now we got out of the Jacuzzi (in room) after dinner at the lodge, and I am ready to crash. I'm typing this ahead of time, as the wireless connection is down in the lodge, and I probably won't be going down there with the computer to post for another day or two.
Pictures. Of course with pictures, when I do.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:08 PM | permalink
Ok, I usually dislike things like this and never forward them. In fact I usually hate them and delete them immediately. However this one made me bust a gut at number 25, because that one did actually occur to me.Comments
For those who have grown children - this is totally hysterical!
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:57 PM | permalink
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Been too busy/tired most days to come down to the lobby and post. We've been on a non-stop roll of hiking/activities, followed by a long drive back to the resort, then crashing until the next day.Comments
I've got plenty of photos/stories I'll be posting once we return. Tomorrow will probably be canoeing on Lake Josephine and Thursday will be a hike on the Highline Trail. Friday late we'll be back home again.
One thing I can tell you, it is a very interesting/emotionally rattling experience to come back to a place you spent a couple summers two decades ago, when life was very different.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:06 PM | permalink
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Leaving early tomorrow, expect light posting for the next week.Comments
Not that anyone is paying attention, now that the drama is not to be. ;-)
I think I understand now why Rob had so gosh darn many readers. :-(
posted by Desert Cat @ 6:00 PM | permalink
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
...taking shape under your very nose.Comments
Wake up, Christian brothers and sisters! Trim your wicks, fill your lamps, purchase more oil while the daylight lasts. The bridegroom's arrival is imminent.
Tremendous kudos to Anna for her research--even better than Herb's site some days. Read her latest: Anna's Xanga Site - 7/19/2006 9:45:51 AM
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:23 PM | permalink
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
I have two in-town lots in escrow, waiting to close on the sale in a couple weeks.Comments
I have one parcel of country property in escrow, waiting to close on the purchase in a couple weeks.
I have a cash out/debt consolidation mortgage refi lined up and waiting to close in a couple weeks.
I've got my rental house ready and waiting for new tenants.
I'm leaving on vacation in a couple of days, going to Glacier Park in Montana for a week.
Women, I understand, feel this same level of anticipation just waiting for Kohl's 50% off sale. For men, it takes a much more significant set of circumstances to generate that "almost better than sex" feeling.
Of course *nothing* is ever really better than sex to a guy.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:52 PM | permalink
Rob Smith's Fox 5 TV AppearanceComments
I dreamed some more about these vids, after watching them last night. Choked up a bit thinking about him just now, so I figured I ought to link to them.
Thanks to Li'l Toni for hosting the vids.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:13 AM | permalink
Monday, July 17, 2006
"Ooh boy! This un's gonna grow up to be a Democrat!
*Phew*, can *I* tell!"
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:09 PM | permalink
Swiped from Cowboy Blob.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:02 PM | permalink
Sunday, July 16, 2006
States Brace for Continued Heat Wave - Forbes.comComments
Highs pushing toward 100, and "heat index" calculations to make it sound worse, oh heaven forbid!
Today in Tucson is a thick humid, thunderstormy 100 degrees, and it is actually rather balmy in comparison to last week. It was 105 yesterday (actual temperature, not "heat index") and I spent part of the day working outside, digging up weeds in the sun.
Here's a few tips for you sufferers:
1) Drink water! Lots of it. Far more than you think you need. Because you need it way sooner than that parched throat indication you're used to relying on. If you feel thirsty, it's too late and you're already dehydrated. Yes, you can dehydrate in high humidity conditions. Probably faster than in "dry heat". You need to drink at least a quart of water per hour if you're exerting yourself outdoors in the heat. Some of my coworkers who spend the whole day outdoors drink up to three gallons of water a day. Your thick Scandinavian blood is not used to all that water, so you'll probably spend more time in the restroom, but buck up! It's for your good.
2) Now is not the time to adhere to your low sodium diet. You need plenty of salt. Grab a bag of chips and snarf down. And drink more water while you're at it. You also need potassium, so grab a bunch of bananas at the store while you're buying chips and water. Ditch the sweetened, caffeinated drinks--they will just dehydrate you worse. Gatorade is also very good.
3) Ditch the polyester fashions and put on something light-colored and 100% cotton. No black t-shirts or jeans. Ditch the antiperspirant, and SWEAT fer gawsh sakes! I know, I know, it is a very unaccustomed feeling for y'all, but these are exactly the conditions that "annoying hygeine problem" is designed for. Sweat like God designed you to. Think of it as a free sauna--you'll be purging toxins and feel better later if you do it right.
4) A hat is not an option but a necessity if you're going to spend more than five minutes outdoors. And not those plastic feedstore caps either. Puhleeze! Get something with a broad brim and an absorbent headband. A straw hat makes a good inexpensive brain protector. A broad-brimmed cotton hat is even better. A cotton bandana is also a great choice if you have nothing else. Again, spare the fashion sense! Think of it like winter--the parka and moon boots are necessities that aren't always fashionable.
5) Shade is good, full sun in limited doses, if you can help it. For the truly determined, there is one more tip that I often use. Take off your shirt and soak it in water. Ring it out so it's not dripping, then put it back on. It is far easier on your body to not have to sweat to produce all of the water required to keep you cool. I've made it through some horrendously hot days by soaking my shirt every half-hour or so, whenever it began to get dry. This doesn't work so well when the humidity gets truly dense, but even then it can help some. There are other tricks I use when the conditions are hot and dry rather than humid, but they don't apply here.
If you're feeling lightheaded, that's a warning sign. If you're getting cramps, that's a warning sign. If you're beset with extreme fatigue, that's a warning sign. Heat exhaustion can ruin your day, and heat stroke can kill you. If all else fails, just stay indoors in the AC. It *is* an option after all.
posted by Desert Cat @ 6:59 PM | permalink
And what should this morning's sermon be about? Quitting. Wanting to quit, and the great quitters of the bible. And more specifically about committment in marriage relationships, and divorce.Comments
Funny coincidence, eh?
Not on your life! No, I've learned to discern the orchestrating hand of God in circumstances, and it was no coincidence that this specific sermon should have been delivered on this particular Sunday, following the intensity of the last couple of days.
Don't believe it? That's fine, I'll allow you your meaningless coincidence.
Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?"
It is a high standard, and not all will measure up to it. Nevertheless, that is the standard.
We will continue to work on it.
Those of you who commented over the last couple of days, I thank you for your support. I really didn't expect y'all would be there like that for me. I do very much appreciate it, and I am a bit more moved than I am accustomed to being over people's concern.
But on the other hand, I really don't want to turn this space into Gut Rumbles Redux. I'm not married to a BC (despite some of the occasionally outrageous things I have to face), and really don't want to come here to rave and whine every time I do. I'm usually much more private about such things, and it was only the extreme nature of the recent circumstance that drove me here to vent, and (as it turns out) for validation. It was, however, the first time we began to seriously make plans for divorce, and it felt like I was preparing for the process of cutting off my left leg with a hacksaw.
I will tell you this: I don't believe I would have stuck it out throughout the last nine years of counseling if I had felt at any point along the way that there was no hope whatsoever of progress. However slim, there has always been hope that things would continue to improve. Lately it hadn't been looking so good, and the last week was looking positively grim. But I believe there's a good chance this morning's sermon will serve to shake the both of us into a renewed committment to move forward.
This much I have come to know beyond a doubt throughout the last eighteen years--His hand is on my marriage, and it continues to be His demonstrated priority. Today was not the first day I've seen this level of "meaningless coincidence" demonstrated on our behalf.
Next week we go on the vacation we've had planned for the last six months.
posted by Desert Cat @ 4:31 PM | permalink
Saturday, July 15, 2006
This is a great video to watch after you've had one of those days that...could have been better: Nuclear TherapyComments
Crank the speakers, then right click the video and zoom to full screen for best effect. Lather, rinse, repeat as necessary until you feel better.
I keep looking for this and misplacing it. I'm going to put it on the sidebar for handy reference.
Update: Testing, embedded video.
Update 2: embedded video is annoying. Just click the link above.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:13 PM | permalink
"Run away to your BLAHG friends! Have your little pity party! Maybe they'll be there for you when you're all ALOAN, little boy!!"Comments
Gosh, somebody must have thought the post below was about them or something.
"What about YOO!!? What about YOO!!?"
I know, I know, there are ten thousand things I do wrong for every one you do, aren't there? Surely with such a weight of evidence against me, you're fully justified in what you do, aren't you?
No matter how vicious.
Someone I know grew up in a highly dysfunctional household. It wasn't until she went to college that she began to realize that "other people don't relate to each other the way my family does." It wasn't until she got out of her small town and around normal healthy people, that she began to see just how sick her family was.
In a similar manner, I've been coming to see healthy, positive relationships modeled and discussed online and in discussions with my counselor, and of course it throws that ugly light of day on the broken places in my own.
I've come to the point where sweeping it under the rug is no longer an acceptable option.
See my own contribution to the mess is not insignificant. For years I have struggled with a petrifying fear of abandonment. When you don't want to be "aloan", it leads you to accept all manner of treatment. And there's all sorts of contortions you'll go through and things you'll do--you'll feed into and follow whatever dysfunctional patterns you have to--to keep it together. That cudgel is always over your head--the "D" word from Hell. And of course that means she knows she can demean and belittle with impunity.
Or she could.
In the last few years, and especially in the last year or so, I have been coming to terms with my abandonment issues. And this last spring, a serendipitous crossing of paths and subsequent conversation has led to a significant level of healing of one of the quarter-century old sources.
Things haven't exactly been the same since then.
Of course then it's my fault for upsetting the applecart. It's my fault for shining the light under the rug. And I must be punished. And the last big button on the "husband control console" that has always worked so well in the past, is the Big "D" Word from Hell. And of course the Belittling Lever. Yank that one hard when he's getting out of line!
But you know, it doesn't work so well anymore as it used to. Oh sure, it hurts. You bet it does! But men don't really have feelings, do they? No, they're just giant punching bags for whatever hormone-addled rage a woman wants to throw at them.
I have to wonder, am I the only man alive who wishes he could be more emotionally open and vulnerable with his life partner, without it placing him at such inevitable risk? One of my greatest frustrations in this relationship is that any discussion of my feelings will inevitably, without fail (no, not even once, no matter how it is approached) lead to the "little jimmie" routine.
That's telling in itself, is it not?
But it doesn't shut me down like it once did. I know who I am in Christ, and am coming to know more every day what His image in me--as the man he created me to be is. Despite the pain, that is the image toward which I strive. That's why I appreciate this. From someone who understands, things like that are like a picture I can set next to my metaphorical "internal mirror" and compare notes.
No, as far as I am concerned, we either get healthy (which is far preferable to me), or we punch the big button. The shadowlands in between hold no appeal to me anymore.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:17 AM | permalink
Friday, July 14, 2006
I've been ruminating since last night and composing a post in my head, addressing some of the things that I seem to be facing. As I've worked on this, I begin to realize I'm getting into essay-length material. And even then I'm really only scratching the surface. Nor, I realized, am I likely to be taken seriously enough by the persons to whom the post may be most usefully addressed. I'm just "some man" with his own agenda, after all.Comments
But also, I'd been aware that someone widely acknowledged as an expert in the field has written a book that thoroughly addresses the topic. Reminded of that fact, I looked it up. Dr. Laura Schlessinger penned The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands a couple of years ago, which precisely addresses the issues ruminating in my mind, and it has become a bestseller. So what am I thinking trying to write the same myself?
Some women "get it". Some "get it" in spades, and their marriages are robust, they're happy and fulfilled, and their husbands are shining examples of male virtue as a result of their wisdom. Some women haven't a clue, and their relationship with that "petty, small egotist" they're married to shows the results of their cluelessness. And it's not like anything "that man" or any man would say could change their approach or their attitudes. So Dr. Laura to the rescue...perhaps.
One has to wonder though, if such a woman were to be given this book in hopes that she may find the keys to obtaining that which she claims to want, would she accept it and read it? Or would the very presentation of the book be perceived as an affront to her preconceived notions of the way things are?
Update: Here's a little excerpt from the book:
I can just hear some wives annoyed that this book is aimed at them. "After all" I'm sure they're saying, "dont men have any responsibility? Why is it on our backs to change for them? Where is her book on 'The Proper Care and Feeding of Wives?' Hummf!"
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:57 AM | permalink
Thursday, July 13, 2006
That's not a question I ask often enough. Mostly because I dislike the possibility that enough was enough quite some time ago, and I'm unwilling to cross that bridge because of how disruptive the process is, and the great unknown that lies beyond. Sometimes out of sheer stubbornness that I will not be moved from my decision to stick it out, come hell or high water. Well I've sucked my share of seawater and suffered my share of "sunburn". So I've paid the piper, and continue to pay for that one.Comments
What begins to hurt a bit more is the realization that the decision has never been so firm on the part of the other party to the agreement. The realization is not new--it's the understanding of the scope of the impact that has been made more clear recently.
That particular circumstance would put the onus of maintaining the integrity of the agreement much more on one party than the other. And indeed that has been the case, to the extreme, virtually from the start. More recently I have made peace with the possibility of the dissolution of the agreement, should the "enough" ever reach the enough point. Thus my pondering of the question.
But the question is not so simple as that. Because duty goes beyond personal comfort, and binding agreements cannot be so easily dismissed if one has personal integrity.
Despite the personal cost sometimes.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:38 PM | permalink
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
CTV.ca | Mushroom drug produces mystical experience: Scientists are taking a second look at so-called magic mushrooms, a staple of 1960s hippie culture, to see if they do open a pathway to the divine.Comments
Or, failing that, to help with addictions or terminally ill patients fighting depression and anxiety.
Well...why limit it to the terminally ill, FFS? Like your average Joe, fighting depression and anxiety shouldn't be able to benefit because...**GASP**...HIPpies use this stuff!!!!!11! OMG!! AAAAAIGHHH!!!
(Oh, and yes. It does open up doors to the spiritual--not necessarily to the God of the Bible, but to the realms of the Central and South American Indian shamen, the world of Xochipilli. Tread with caution, ye who dare enter therein. Here be dragons.)
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:45 AM | permalink
Monday, July 10, 2006
abc7.com: Three-Story Building in NYC CollapsesComments
Another one? I will keep tabs on this.
Update: Looks likely that it was a gas explosion.
Update 2: Possibly suicide related: more.
If someone blows up a building in a suicide/revenge attempt, does that not make him a suicide bomber? Is it not terrorism then, especially when he takes out several people with him?
Why the hair-trigger jump by officials to saying "not terrorism related"? Just because it wasn't by an Islamic jihadi? How can you know within minutes of the explosion whether it is terrorism related or not? Really now.
Cry "not-wolf" enough times and we stop believing you.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:19 AM | permalink
Friday, July 07, 2006
I am speechless, though I think my chest expanded a full two inches reading this: what is sexy?Comments
I think "intellectual sidekick" is about where I usually find myself in a group dynamic.
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:13 PM | permalink
Thursday, July 06, 2006Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:21 PM | permalink
K has just lost her feline companion of 22 years today. Some people are unlikely to understand, but if any of you have lost a pet that has been with you a significant portion of your life, you know how painful this can be.Comments
ksquest: Another Loss
She could use your prayers and condolences about now.
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:51 PM | permalink
Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Always in control, you are a great leader, deligator, and diplomat. These qualities attract people to you, and this sometimes annoys you.
Aloof, introspective, and philosophical; you enjoy quiet time in solitude.
Take the Star Trek Quiz
**snrk!** Too true.
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:45 PM | permalink
Pretty Lady: How to Give a Good Christian BlowjobComments
Not for the faint of heart...
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:35 PM | permalink
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:59 AM | permalink
...if this is one of those "pathetic, dry-bones places on the internet" to you, don't feel any compulsion to keep reading here.Comments
If you can't figure out that I am on the same page--looking for a swift end to this ghoulish exhuming and repackaging of "evidence" for some Cliff Notes version of what was, then I can't help you.
Another blog will be shutting down over this. Whether you liked reading her or not is immaterial, it's a damned shame that some people can't let it lie.
In other words, if that sweeping generalization was meant to encompass this space, then "Bite Me!"
I've said just about all I intend to on the topic anyway.
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:24 AM | permalink
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Here's another one to keep an eye on: The Kag Report.Comments
Some funny stuff there!
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:50 PM | permalink
We do not know the day or the hour (Matthew 24:36), but we will know the season (Matthew 24:32,33). And the fig tree continues to put forth its leaves.Comments
I read an article in Government Computing News about the Department of Homeland Security making strides in the use of RFID for human and cargo tracking. They recognize that implantation is not going to be accepted at this time, but you can be sure they're fantasizing and scheming toward that end.
Meanwhile Bush is busy behind our backs creating the North American Union and working on the Atlantic Free Trade Agreement. What, you didn't know about that? Surprised much that virtually no one is talking about it? Besides Herb Peters, Lou Dobbs is. But who else? Is this being debated in Congress? Is the press and society in on the details, so that we can give our congresscritters our opinion--the meat and potatoes of this grand democracy we have? Why no. The elites know what is good for us, despite our wishes. The immigration "debate" proves that. The continued implementation of the EU constitution, despite it being rejected by the people of Europe proves that.
So what time is it? And what is going on?
A lot of people get hung up on the imagery in the book of Revelation and miss the meaning of the imagery and symbols. Revelation 13 describes a beast that rises from the sea that is given the authority of the dragon. The dragon is the easy part--that is the Accuser, the Usurper, the prince of the power of this present darkness. He gained the keys to the kingdoms of mankind at the fall of man, and he has exercised his authority through the agency of human kings and rulers and governments throughout history.
But the beast from the sea is not a literal beast, of course. Scholars far smarter than I have pored over scripture for the imagery that is repeated throughout the text, that is given a specific and consistent meaning. The beast from the sea represents secular authority. What this passage predicts is a very specific form of secular authority that is to rise (or is in the process of rising), that the enemy will then give his full authority to.
Revelation 17:9-14 has the interpretation:
9 "This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. 10 They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while. 11 The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.
12 "The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. 13 They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. 14 They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers."
Seven heads, seven hills and seven kings--all three represent the authority of specific kingdoms or empires. Five have been, one was at the time of the prophecy (the Roman Empire), and there is one yet to come. Ten kings will reign with the beast, who is himself an eighth king belonging to the seven. That is a peculiar construction that will doubtless become more clear as the day approaches.
So is there anything that fits this specific form of secular authority today? I would say yes. The European Union is composed of 25 nations, but less well known is another group within the EU known as the Western European Union which is dedicated to military and security cooperation. And it is composed of, yes, ten member states.
There is one office within the WEU that has been given great authority and latitude. The EU decision that created this office is associated with the number 666, specifically it is called Recommendation 666. And the man who currently occupies this office was recently, and for the first time very publically in the spotlight on June 6 of this year, when he made a significant diplomatic offer to Iran. His name is Javier Solana, and you can expect to see him in the news more and more often in the weeks and months to come.
The seventh hill--this Western European Union, together with the gathering of all regional unions and free trade areas into a single worldwide mega market, is the final form of human authority, the final empire if you will, before the return of Christ. And Javier Solana, the eighth king belonging to the other seven, is the key player making this happen. Expect to see him at the helm when it all comes together as planned in the year 2010. That's not a date from prophecy. That is the date that crops up over and over and over in news accounts as the target date for the various diplomatic initiatives currently under way to pull this all together.
Interested in more? Herb Peters has his book online and free to read here: Recommendation 666, and he has a blog of sorts here, where he updates his views as news events occur. He has the documentation of the specific events over the last eight to twelve years or so that support the premise that we are in fact seeing the rise of the beast from the sea at this very moment in history.
Could he be wrong? Yes, he certainly could be. He admits so himself. But the evidence is rather compelling.
Go give it a read, and decide for yourself.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:52 PM | permalink
There are times I swear that Scott Adams *has* to be looking over my shoulder when he chooses his cartoon du jour. Today is one of those days.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:44 PM | permalink
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
I don't know if Twenty Major is at all typical of the Irish, but if so, something tells me I'd be in stitches half the time if I was there. This time his commenters are nearly as funny as he is himself: Twenty Major: School daysComments
Thing is, I was a "good kid" in school--quiet, obedient, etc. So none of this kind of stuff was my firsthand experience.
Well, there was the water balloon incident...
And the big bag of ganj I found hidden away in the woods that time...
And the S&M fiasco on the Speech trip...
But besides that, you know?
Update: Ok, I suppose I should have prefaced the above by noting that it was mostly juvenile humor, etc. But we're talking schoolboys, so I expected that'd be obvious, no?
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:58 PM | permalink
How nice of the North Koreans to try and help us celebrate our own Independence Day today! Too bad their firecrackers fizzled and plopped into the Sea of Japan.Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:56 PM | permalink
to Uncle Sam! 230 years old today.Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:46 PM | permalink
Monday, July 03, 2006
Apparently the DoD takes it seriously, even if the moonbat left derides it.Comments
Blogs Study may Provide Credible Information - U.S. Department of Defense Transformation News Story
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:59 PM | permalink
There is so much good writing hidden away in quiet places of the 'sphere, amidst the tons of dreck. So when I find something good, I want to pass it along.Comments
Recent commenter Jean has a blog here: Pondering.......
Read "My Father's Eyes".
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:27 AM | permalink
Sunday, July 02, 2006
I said that there was no one who could replace Acidman in the blogosphere, and that's true. But I was thinking about it, and I realized that if you mixed together a generous helping of Steve H, added a scoop of Bane and a portion of Fred on Everything, you'd still not have Gut Rumbles, but you might have a reasonable substitute that would do in a pinch.Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:28 PM | permalink
Saturday, July 01, 2006
I've been working around the yard this morning and I laid down for a brief nap, like I am wont to do in the early afternoon on many days.Comments
I just woke from an odd dream. I saw Acidman's truck stalled on the railroad tracks, but Rob was standing outside and behind the truck, wearing his fedora. There was a freight train barreling down on the crossing at high speed, and for a second I thought, "Ohmygod! Is Sam or Quinton still in the truck?!" But a split second later I realized he was alone and there was no one else around. The last thing I saw was Rob put his hand to his mouth, like "omgod, there goes my truck!!"
I woke just before it hit.
Having a little trouble typing, as I was overcome again for a moment. I cannot shake the sensation that something of him has survived the grave. I go in my mind/spirit to the place where I used to find him, and he's not there. And for a moment, I think, "Gone. He's surely gone and beyond all reach and help." But then I turn in my mind/spirit and I find...something of him elsewhere. Where, I don't know. And what, I don't know. His ghost?
My idea of what ghosts are probably differs substantially from many people. I've come to learn that it is nothing more than an echo, a footprint, an impression left on the "ether" of this world that lingers for a time after the real person, the spark of true consciousness, has departed. Not that it can't be compellingly convincing that it is something of the real person--I'm in the process right now of cleaning out a formerly haunted workshop in preparation for its sale. Some of my gray hairs are due to my interaction with this particular ghost shortly after I purchased the place a few years ago. But a ghost is no more the departed person than the lifeless body they left behind.
Those of you who know me well, know that I hold my theology in one hand and my perceptions of reality in the other, and ultimately the two need to be in harmony, (though I have no problem holding seeming paradoxes in my mind, and accepting that certain things will remain a mystery this side of the grave.) I don't know the ultimate fate of Robert Smith. But as I've seen several people sharing some of the same thoughts I've had over the last few days, I'll put mine out there as well.
Update: More food for thought in the comments section of Baldilock's post. Yup. Ok maybe I'm not crazy then. Or a whole bunch of us are. I'll come out and say it: I think that sonofagun made it somehow.
posted by Desert Cat @ 1:56 PM | permalink
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