Tuesday, August 28, 2007

No No No

You know a song has made it's way deep into pop culture when Brian the hard-drinking talking dog on Family Guy starts singing it.

Thank goodness not everyone has to be rehabilitated.

Gotta love the hook.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Bicycle Camping In The Big Wide Open

Ken Kifer's, "Guide to Free, Self-sufficient, Legal Backwoods Camping" has good detailed information, if you have a hankering to try some Bicycle Camping.

He was not writing about camping in campgrounds; but rather wherever you decide is a good spot to bed down for the night (he gives advice on finding good places). You can tell by reading his work that he was into the doing rather than appearance of doing - he doesn't recommend you head down to REI and buy a couple thousand dollars worth of gear - he starts with the very simplest camping that he did with a wool blanket, tarp and a wood fire in the 1970's and then explains what additional equipment he used as he rode on many bicycle camping trips. This page provides a discussion of equipment, and lists what he carried with him.

This is a quote from his page -

"I have never forgotten the answer someone received on a Sierra Club hike. He had simply asked what minimum equipment he would need to start camping, and the person leading the trip -- who evidently considered himself a great expert -- rattled off the brand names of and details about hundreds -- if not thousands -- of dollars of equipment, saying each item was absolutely necessary. Actually, on a warm night in many areas, one can sleep right on the ground without any gear whatsoever, although a ground cloth would be a good idea. I have slept without pitching my tent many times (I've also had to pitch the tent in the middle of the night too, when the weather changed). But my real point is that it doesn't take first-rate equipment to have a first-rate time, nor will first-rate equipment do you much good if you don't understand what you're doing."

Ken Kifer spent many years doing what he wrote about. He was killed, by a drunk driver in 2003, while riding his bicycle. His website is kept up by a good friend.

I Haven't Showered For Two Weeks

I've been in Northern Minnesota for a couple of weeks, away from electronic devices - enjoying the quiet sounds of water lapping at the shore of a nice clean lake surrounded by tall pines and birch trees. It was a wonderful break from work and the day to day. I did exactly what I wanted - nothing.

Almost nothing.

I did attend my niece's wedding in Minneapolis and after we got to the lake we played cards, frisbee, horseshoes, ate, swam, boated, rode bikes, and my favorite - took hot saunas and jumped in a cold lake. I also had to go into town every so often to get an espresso and hit the Indian Casino at Cass lake a couple of times, where Rachel got super lucky playing Black Jack.

One of my favorite things about this place is the wood-fired sauna. It's fun to light the old cast iron wood stove and alternate between the hot sauna and the cool/cold lake. It's really refreshing and a great way to clean up - I didn't take a shower for the two weeks I was there.

Big Bass Lake is Northeast of Bemidji, a popular vacation area. The lake is spring fed and has a variety of warm water fish, as well as a nice natural sand beach, in front of the cottage, which makes swimming and playing in the water fun. It's a good place for kids and older folks to hang out.

The two pictures below are from a place along a road between Minneapolis and Bemidji. Besides the cool pink Caddy, there was a small self-serve roadside fruit and vegetable stand, which had fresh local tomatoes and peppers, as well as canned jams and jellies and some craft items for sale. It was one of those, leave your money in the jar, operations that you sometimes see.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Things That Quicken The Heart

Some things to think about that you might take for granted...the smell of the hot street steaming after a light rain or dogs who carry things in their mouth while they’re on their walk -
"This page is inspired by a common Japanese tradition (uncommon to westerners), described in Chris Marker’s film Sans Soleil. As a form of meditation, or therapy, it is common to prepare a “list of 10 things that quicken the heart.” The list is supposed to describe the small things in life that make one happy, and which makes existence slightly more tolerable."

Source: snoreandguzzle

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Divine Language of Madness

"There is something in common, in poetry and in music - in the certain way that both of them are the language of madness.

The poet and the musician together speak a natural and universal language the original language that all creatures spoke before the fall of man.

For in the Garden of Eden before Adam and Eve had eaten the fruit of the tree of knowledge they understood the language of all the animals and spoke such a language themselves which was the divine language."

Alan Watts

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Music to Help You Sleep - On a Starry Night

Fifty four out of fifty six reviewers gave the CD On a Starry Night a five star rating on Amazon (the other two gave it four stars). It must be really good. The Amazon reviewer "Audrey the Librarian" writes,

"Seventeen songs are presented from the US, Japan, Indonesia, Brazil, Ireland, Congo, Ghana, Cuba, Iceland, Israel, England, Russia and Germany. Some are sung, most are instrumental. All are very beautiful and soothing. The CD booklet contains a paragraph about each song with performance credits, original words and translation.

A remarkably soothing collection of lullabies. "