Thursday, August 14, 2008


it's turning out to be a harder week than i thought.

it's been a year and i don't feel any better about it. if you don't already know the "what", you'll be a little confused by that statement.

it cuts too close.

anyway, you know that at night for evening prayer i am in the habit of lighting a candle or two. one always for myself with relation to bob, but sometimes one for someone else as well. if there's a lot on my list, it's more like a small inferno.

but for a while there have been two. as long as it still means something, there will be two.

but a while ago for reasons not yet known to me i started saving the burnt-out ones and then something someone said clicked it into place and i had this idea for what to do with them.

Monday, July 28, 2008

letting you eavesdrop; a disordered mind speaks to God

i wrote this to Barbara one night after evening prayer. it was a pretty close transcript of that conversation. i ran across it last night and decided to post it here.

hey, bob,

O Great Gracious God
gaping, grinding, glowering
gibbous grinning

it isn't so much that you have a sense of humor
as you are the sense of humor

you'd have to be
otherwise there's no explaining the platypus.

you are so awesomely awesome

and i know i railed against ticks
and suggested maybe you were having an off day
and i swear i heard you laugh

but someone pointed out to me
how marvelously made
is the tick;
an animal that can live eighteen months
without a meal.

and today when i went to kneel at the altar
and managed to get tangled in my own feet
and fall quite painfully;
i asked you rather pointedly
if it was your idea of a joke
and if it was
i didn't think it was funny
and i know you heard me laugh

maybe slapstick
is simple enough
for both of us to understand

i went to sing you a song
but giggled right through it
and i like to think
you didn't mind.

yesterday i was feeling my wounds
and didn't feel much like singing
but we sang anyway
and i laughed
just because you ARE.

these days
just heaps up on loss
except that i feel myself quite firmly in your hand
and if i get lucky
i can feel you in my hand

and i might as well laugh.

it's OK, you said.
just think of me, you said.

so all right; i will.

i will, i will, i will.

you are the pratfall, the knock-knock,
the elephant joke
signed for the deaf
you are the whole of the punchline

and you know i always said i'd be a lot happier
if someone would only
tell me the punchline.

in the night
while i sleep
and during the day
in every breath

you are there

to whisper it in my ear:

the whole of the joke

spinning, swirling, staid and stalwart
breaking waves of sound and taking
leaving light and coming running
caving stillness, starfish sunning
light and leaning loving laughter
you are before and also after

you are
you are
you are

i know you are;
i heard you laugh.

Friday, June 13, 2008

going in reverse

i know it's a little late, and you already know that i'm home from my trip.

so i think i'm just going to post the pictures and leave it at that.

home and away

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

presidential politics

the republic is dead and it doesn't matter who the next emperor is.

secession! rebellion! anarchy!

overpay all your bills by a few cents every month. hack into email and phone accounts and delete all messages on one particular topic, but leave the rest. hit the road and leave no forwarding address. send bulk mail to people who don't exist. sign all your public officials up for free samples and trial subscriptions. organize large protest marches over things that don't matter, or don't make sense. hand out flyers about the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide. apply for permits that you never use. go to government offices and stand in line for a few hours, but only if you have no business to conduct. lie down in crosswalks. find areas that have no ordinances regarding public nudity and walk around naked on main street. if you smoke, stand on a busy intersection and smoke legal and harmless herbs. pretend it's pot. sell little bags of powdered sugar and oregano. insist loudly that it's ONLY powdered sugar and oregano. reverse shoplift: take merchandise you own and sneak it INTO stores. buy an armload of flowers and try to give them to people on a busy street. do not accept payment. buy traffic cones and distribute them randomly on busy streets during rush hour. stand at an intersection wearing raggedy clothes and try to shove five dollar bills INTO people's cars. organize a marching band and have an impromptu parade. order elaborate cocktails that don't exist. when the hostess seats you in the restaurant, insist on including your invisible friend in your party. campaign for public offices that either don't exist, or else aren't filled by election. commit reverse vandalism: sneak out under cover of darkness and fix something. start a nationwide campaign for splenectomies in all household pets. mark choice parking places as being reserved for the "morally handicapped", or for "people with herpes". take those magnetic ribbons on people's cars and rearrange them. correct the punctuation on commercial signs. start a petition drive to save a landmark that isn't in danger. list yourself in the phone book under a fictitious name. purchase billboard space and have it say something nonsensical in an obscure language. make reservations in other people's names, and then don't keep them. attempt to bribe the bagger at the supermarket. go to a burger joint and ask why they can't just open a can of soup for you. turn your cell phone off, but pretend to talk into it anyway. if it gets confiscated, continue to talk into your hand as if nothing had happened. invite a large group of people over to someone else's house for a party. go to city council meetings and cry loudly. stand at bus stops. don't get on any busses. hire an ASL interpreter to follow you around all day. go everywhere your state legislator goes; strew rose petals in his path. claim to have committed crimes that predate your birth. have large appliances delivered to the lobby of a public building. tell the police you'll show them where all the bodies are hidden. take them to a cemetery. go to a public place with a bullhorn and announce with alarm that you have discovered the air in this area is nearly 80% nitrogen and advise everyone to leave.

gum up the works.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

forward, then back

ok, i'm still writing my geocaching logs from my trip and i'm still organizing the pictures, and when i'm done i want to organize my thoughts and tell you about it.

in the meantime, i'm playing ikariam, and i'm playing on the iota server in case you want to look for me there. i'm playing as flask, which ought to be a no-brainer.

so last firday night (i think it was friday) i get an incoming message that i am under attack. for starters, i cannot imagine why anyone would attack me unless they really wanted trouble. i keep plowing my cash and resources into development, so i don't have a lot for anyone to steal and besides, i have good defenses, including the fact that i belong to a powerful alliance that protects its members aggressively.

i look this guy up. he clearly hasn't done his homework. he is a quarter of my size. his army is a quarter the size of mine. his alliance is a quarter the size of mine. additionally, the way things are stacked up, if he's done the math, he would have seen that the attack was going to cast him more than he was goign to get from me.

so i sent him a note telling him to call off his attack, or else i'd be forced to retaliate.

i do not know why you attacked me, but i'm bigger than you. i have a bigger army than you and my alliance is much bigger than yours. you will notice that you are under attack from members of my alliance.

nobody has been silly enough to attack me until you came along, so now i have to figure out how to deploy troops to your cities.

members of my alliance are already sending troops to (to use their words) flatten you. the reason i have never yet attacked you is that i do not as a rule attack active cities. you are about to lose your entire military.

my allies will stop their attacks if i ask them to.

at this point you should apologize nicely and send lovely gifts.

he did not back down. instead this is what he said:

hey i probably know you are mad...but i didnt get that much from you anyways

wasnt even worth it

ill send you effen shit back

so i said:

see now, all i was hoping for was a nice apology and the rough equivalent of the 1,200 gold you took plus a little extra, say, 1,400 total as a nice gesture.

but now my friends are mad at you because you weren't nice. a little communication could have really helped.

the mathematics of it are this: you might feel all full of yourself 'coz your'e a top 100 alliance, but we're a top 10 alliance. we have a couple of guys who don't like to pick on people, but they really enjoy the chance to go after players that have attacked us.

it's expensive, maintaining really big armies, and they don't need much of an excuse.

at this point i think one of my allies is attacking you because he "doesn't like your name".

it would have been better for you to make a nice apology, and certainly much less expensive.

the names of all his cities are amusing sexual innuendos. amusing if you're, say a twelve-year-old boy. very clever stuff.

ok what the hell do you want

let's review:

you got stupid and attacked a player four times your size, with an alliance four times the size of your alliance.

when offered the chance to make a nice apology and pay a small amount in restitution, you failed to do either.

at this point what i want is to farm you regularly and to prevent you from building any military at all.


you still have yet to learn manners and as far as i'm concerned, you are now my pet.

additionally, my alliance views with suspicion any member of your alliance or any player with whom you have regular communication. we do not have any set policy regarding this, but we're keeping our options open.

in short, you should have taken the opportunity to get the whole thing called off when you had the chance. i believe i described to you exactly what was going to happen as a result of your choices and now that these things have happened, there's no point complaining about it.

just telll me what you want

sorry, puppy, but you had enough opportunity to be polite and failed to do it at any time until now. we also did not like your friend johnlilly, who was very rude to one of our alliance members.

if you time your production right, you'll hardly notice that i'm farming you unless you try to build a military.

if you go back in your correspondence you will notice that you had two opportunities to apologize and send lovely presents.

because you did not take advantage at any time of these excellent chances, i'm just going to take what i can get from you from now on.

helpful hint: when you pick on someone four times larger than you and they ask for an apology, you should do it right away.

i tried to ask you what these lovely presents but you never told me what they were

can we make a compromise....ill try to send you 500 of something everyday

something along those lines

just please stop attacking....leave me alone

i wont pillage anymore

oh, sure. NOW you're learning some manners.

let me break this down for you.

traditionally nobody was stupid enough to attack me, so i didn't have to maintain a huge standing army.

then you came along and i had to increase the size of my army and that costs me more. surely you don't expect ME to pay the extra cost?

you are correct to observe that you're not going to pillage anymore. not only are you not going to pillage me, but you're not going to pillage anyone else. i don't trust you as far as i could throw you while i was sitting on you with a piano in my lap.

you had plenty of opportunity to be polite, but if you go back in the correspondence, i think you'll see that you were never apologetic or even courteous until it was too late.

now you are my farm, my pet, my puppy. you are my drive-through, all-night ATM.

in addition to monitoring your income and your armies, i have also been monitoring your communications and any player in an alliance with you, in regular communication with you, or trading with you will be seen as suspicious and therefore also a possible target.

just fuckin leave me alone

this isnt fun anymore

its not that serious...its a damn internet game...people make fuckin mistakes...ive learned

just leave me alone

just stop this is getting stupid

for you, maybe.

for me, it is both fun and profitable.

ode to bush:

my sweet and lovely sugar lump

who pays to stock my ammo dump

not smart enough to take advice, apologize or just play nice.

six times a day at every town

i'll pillage you and smack you down

you are my favorite little boy

my rare and cherished squeaky toy

you fought me once; here's your reward

i'll keep it up 'til i get bored

but i'll be staying for a while

to pillage you

just makes me smile.

would you please fuckin stop...this is getting ridiculious...i just want to play the fuckin game

my dear little man:

you ARE playing the game. this is the part of the game where you pay for your poor choices.

i believe i warned you what would happen to you if you crossed me, and yet you persist.

you can beg and plead all you want; i simply forward your messages to my alliance and we all have a laugh over it.

your choices inconvenienced me and my friends and now you're paying for them. i have a schedule to keep with regard to pillaging you, and i mustn't fall behind. according to my calculations, all of your cities are have entered into a new cycle and are therefore due for pillage, each in their turn.

are you familiar at all with the early days of the romanov empire? if you knew anything at all about history, you would understand why it just isn't practical for me to leave you with a viable military or any resources to speak of.

additionally, i had to upgrade my army in order to deal with you, and now someone has to pay for its upkeep. you have been nominated for this honor.

at this point if you do not wish to have me keep explaining this to you, you will simply stop sending me messages about it.

i'm busy; i have pillages to conduct, many of them on you.

im fuckin done...this is fuckin fuckin abandoning all my fuckin done with this fuckin game...i hope you are fuckin happy

yep, that's kind of what i was getting at.

if i find you playing under a different account i will go after you equally aggressively.

thanks for playing, and don't let the door hit you on the way out.


but it turns out that he does not quit the game. he has a second illegal account that he stupidly sets up on the same island. and he has a little potty-mouth friend who decides to attack another of my allies which has the effect of a teacup poodle trying to fight a pack of wolves.

just leave me the hell alone

i have decided that from now on when you address me, you have to start with "mother may i?" or i'll send out an immediate pillage to your most convenient city.

i am tired of your profane little diatribes.

twenty minutes from now i have a ship coming in. i haven't been raiding you so much today, because there's not much left to take and because you haven't so much as made a peep. but now that you're talking again, i'm afraid i have to return to pillaging you.

how often the good humor truck comes around will depend on your behavior.

forget to say "mother may i?" = 1 immediate pillagge.

use of profanity = 2 pillages at earliest convienience.

construction of any military units will result in immediate resumption of full-bore-six-times-a-day pillage on each city whether or not there's enough for me to take to make it worthwhile.

love 'n' kisses.

now go be a good boy.


i have not heard from him since.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

jiggety jig

home again. it's very strange to be indoors. my rooms seem so expansive in comparison with what i've known as "indoors" these days. but now i have a ton of pictures to process, and some video, and i'm going to try to tell you about it.

a little, at least.

if you'll allow me to skip backward, i was down in hoosick falls and all of a sudden i thought: better get up into the adirondacks if i'm going to go to that party.

but i stopped at a few caches along the way and it nearly broke my heart, but practically on op of one of the caches was a small but viable patch of morels. MORELS! do you have any idea how long it's been since i found any of those?

and i had no way really to cook them, because although i am equipped for boiling water, that's about it. if i'd had a traveling companion i might could have improvised a little chowder with some salmon, but not for just me. i had no way to cope with dishes, or leftovers.

so i got out to hoel pond, and there's a snag at the back of my campsite. i know i've been taking pictures of the back of my campsites for you, but hoel pond is just about the prettiest and there are a lot of pictures of it.

second leg

st. john in the wilderness

the snag is wide enough to sit on, so that's where i spend a lot of my time sitting in prayer, or just sitting. it is sweet and good to sit and listen to the water lapping up all around me, and to listen to the loons calling.

periodically of course, i do leave the campsite to go find geocaches and maybe even try to switch sites, but the good sites on other ponds keep being full, and hoel pond keeps being deserted.

saturday afternoon i was so whipped i didn't have the energy to walk a couple hundred feet to find a cache, so i just went back to the campsite, left the tailgate open and facing the pond, and slept for several hours in dappled sunshine. spring breezes. that lightly toasted smell of balsam and sand.

it's hard to get any better than that.

and i was at this cache, called pirate treasure, or pirate loot, or something like that, and very near to the first stage i found some lovely but inedible mushrooms. the containers were an awful lot of fun and i was having a rollicking good time until i lost my glasses out there.

now, see, i wear glasses all the time because i don't see well without them. it is not easy for me to find them if i'm not wearing them, so when i take them off, i habitually put them in the same places so i can find them again.

they're very nearly the color of pine duff anyway, so that was only heartbreak on top of heartbreak.

but i found them.

which is happy, because i knew where my cell phone was, and i know NFA's phone number, so you know who was going to have to come out and find them should all else fail.

i decided to splurge and buy me a meal indoors, at a restaurant, and went to tail o' the pup. i'd been by it dozens and dozens of times and never gone. too cold, too rainy, too touristy...

but it was good. and afterward i smelled strongly of barbecue and had to wash up pretty carefully.

in the morning i went to the caches on the old bloomingdale rail line and THEN went to do "bloomingdale station", which is somewhat of a mistake. it was nice anyway.

remains of the deer

and i headed home.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

backstage pass

i'm very near the site of the flash mob event in saranac lake, which coincidentally is on the shores of lake flower and not saranac lake as one might think.

uh, anyway. i've been parked here, being part of the scenery for abot an hour and we are now thirty minutes away from zero time, so it is conceivable that other participants are already lurking nearby.

it is very much like being backstage before a play, but also it is not: until the hour arrives, it will be impossible to tell who is here for the party and who is just passing by.

originally i had thought that the "event identification" was going to be party hats, but it turns out that it's red foam clown noses.

all right. i see a guy wandering by the lake shore. i bet he's here for the party. he's very studied in his casualness.

last time i wrote to you i told you about going to the old north church in bennington, but i don't think i told you that afterward i went up to monument circle and sat there, for a while, too. it was sunny and the trees had just leafed out and i just say and looked up and the monument and basked in gratitude. if you've been following the story for a long time you know that i have been up to the monument before and it was an amazing thing to be there and feel the difference.

Friday, May 09, 2008

again into the unknown.

so my lazy day turned out to be quite a full day of "stuff". at noontime prayer i happened to have been here, and ordinarily the church wouldn't have been open, but there was a guy doing some work and he didn't mind if i sat a while.

then i went over into NY, where i was pretty lazy and didn't really want to walk a whole half mile to get to a cache, and almost didn't, but then i felt that little "tug" and i went.

it was beautiful, too, and about halfway out i met a woman coming the other direction and between us was what i thought was her dog. she thought it was mine. on closer view, it rippled too much to be a dog. it was way too slinky.


and then i wasn't going to do that multi in town, because i normally hate the "write down all of these numbers" type of cache where you spend hours wandering from insignificant point to insignificant point, but once again, little tug.

and i was confused more than once by the layout of the coordinates, and at one point the number that the directions seemed to indicate was -6. you maybe don't think about this, but no set of coordinates includes negative numbers.

so i decided that 6 would be just fine.

and i was having trouble counting the churches on church street, mostly because i was having trouble finding church street. i walked five, maybe six blocks on that sucker before finding a sign telling me i was on it. the complete lack of churches on church street was a little confusing, as well.

but it turns out that i am standing right where i need to be right when i need to be there as the woman comes walking down the street whistling "la donna e mobile", which you don't hear on the streets so often these days.

i can whistle pretty good, and i know that aria, too. so i joined in, which surprised her rather a lot, i think. so we stood and talked for a long time. she's elderly, has epilepsy, and is none too wealthy besides. she uses a vagus nerve stimulator, which was interesting to me.

then because i had been talking to her instead of looking for waypoints, when the time came for afternoon prayer, i happened to be standing at a place where was written many times:

may peace prevail on earth.

i didn't think i could do any better than that,so i didn't try.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

in from the cold

all right, i'm not sure where to pick up the narrative, or how far to go. let's just start with i'm actually indoors, sitting in a chair. at a table. and i'll be sleeping in a bed tonight! i will have a shower, and wash my whole body at once! i have just had a nondescript sandwich for dinner, but dessert (a lovely bar of chocolate)is provided by the motel. i am not in the habit of making endorsements in this space, but i'm at the knotty pine in bennington, where some friends of mine stayed a while back and we all hung out for a while in one of the rooms and i remembered it was pretty nice for the cost and the location. besides, i could find it. they let me check in this morning at about 0830, which meant i could use the room as my base and catch up with some housekeeping chores.

having a whole room to myself seems very deluxe.

i woke up this morning and realized that my car smelled very much like i had been living in it for a week, which coincidentally is what i had done. handy tip: unless your laundry bag is airtight, after enough days on the road it contributes a lot to the general ambience.

you want to have some fun? someone ought to run a pool on where i'll be next time i log on.

so. i spent a couple of days cranking back and forth over route 9 in VT and route 2 in MA, mostly because everything there is within pretty easy reach of my campsite. i am in love with the campsites at somerset lading strip, even though they're stark and bare, as if someone just happened to punk down a dozen and two outhouses on an old airstrip. i found it by accident once when i was desperate for a place to pull over and sleep.

and every night this week a woodcock has been "peenting" very close to my car, but he doesn't do the rest of his display, which i really want to see. he's so close i can see him moving on the ground. and last night, finally, for about an hour he went through the whole display, over and over. it is quite spectacular, especially if he's nearby. "good luck, buddy." i tell him. "i hope this really impresses the girls."

it sure impresses me.

so. i'm out on the road and i have little or no direction except that i am making geocaches the loose framework for my days. i am stopping for prayer at fixed intervals, and the balance of those two structures is very pleasing.

and i keep ending up at the perfect places at the perfect times. i'm getting to a lot of cache locations i don't like the look of and i just don't care. granted, i love a highway pull-off as much as the next person and i'm a guardrail enthusiast, but some of these little things i'm just not hunting.

what i WAS hunting tuesday around noon was a good sandwich and i just happened to be in charlemont, MA at christopher's and it's a little hole-in-the-wall and i'm not sure it's all that promising but i'm starving and it has a public restroom and an outside picnic table.

i order the #12 wrap and the guy brings it out to me at the table: freshly breaded eggplant with a little tomato sauce and mozzarella with grilled onions and peppers and the onions are perfectly carmelized and it comes in a sundried tomato wrap and it is so good i could just cry.

and the guy comes out to ask me if it's ok.

is it ok?

it is, i tell him, the best sandwich i have had in months, maybe ever.

and i make use of the open network to settle on going up the hill to do the davis mine loop caches; seven micros in the woods, each giving an all-important digit toward a final.

it's a nice walk, and the caches are nicely placed, but somewhere along the way i made a wrong turn, which i am blaming on stupidly angled trail signs. i'm pretty far away from the right trail when i realize my mistake, but it turns out i'm only .18 from the cache, so i decide to bushwhack.

at first it's open meadow and then open woods and then it becomes apparent that i am on the wrong side of a beaver pond. but below the dam (as there often is) there is a bog that will in places support my weight, so i pick my way carefully across that and come out right at the honkin' cache, but it takes me a while to regain my bearings and find the wretched little thing.

and then at subsequent stages the trail appears and disappears with a frquency and capriciousness that suggests to me the trails are a lot more used in winter than in summer.

and just as it becomes time for afternoon prayer, i come to a place where a blowdown has been sawed up. one of the pieces is so flat and smooth it is almost like someone had taken a plane to it.

so i sat there.

the theme seemed to be doubt, which kind of echoes all the lost trails and wrong turns of the day.

and i wondered about my journey into faith: is this the moment i was afraid of? the moment in which i realize my foolishness and that there really is no God after all? the moment in which i realize that i only believed because i wanted to believe? needed something to lean on?

and after a long while, i heard the voice: enough of this. you have heard my voice. what else do you need?

and Jesus? i asked.

i'm here.

and although my body hurt, my heart was light as i made the return trip to my car, almost a mile. a song started to form in me. back at my car i celebrated by washign my hair, an activity best done while it is still light out and before the day cools down too much. that was so good, i washed my feet and changed socks, too.

on my way "home" i found a grocery store with ripe avocadoes. the night was fine and clear and i took the opportunity to shave.

and i realize i'm kind of going on at length here, but there's still wednesday to tell you about.

when it was time for mid-morning prayer, i just happened to be on the green by the west brattleboro congregational church, so i grabbed my guitar and went in. and then i wandered down into greenfield and did a lot of those guardrail caches i'd declined the day before, making up a little story about a lifetime wish to drive across massachusetts, stopping every .3 miles.

but then it was nearly time for afternoon prayer and i was in shelburne falls. i had been there once, but it was luminaria night in november, so it was like being there the first time.

i just happen to have been at the potholes at the appointed hour, so that's where i stopped.

and then i continued on foot to the other caches in town and just across the river. every step of it was perfect, the kind of perfect where you're really, really glad to be alive. the kind of perfect that binds up the broken places and makes you whole.

and before i crossed over on the bridge of flowers, i came to this incredible set of windchimes.

and then it was dinnerime and i realized that i wasn't so far from he place that made the perfect sandwich, so i bet they'd make a decent pizza and i went there. from there i went "home" to my little woodcock friend. as of this morning the snow hadn't melted all the way at the campsite; i wish i could predict when that will finally happen.

and today again i was in the right place at the right time and i'd like to tell you about it, but it's late and i'm very much looking forward to having a shower.

it is a life of surprise and delight, a life of luxury.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

going out

for some reason my hands are very dry, even though i keep putting on lotion. i've been camping at a site off of forest road 71 in the green mountain national forest, at the somerset landing strip. it's pretty out there, and last night there was a woodcock "peenting" about forty feet away from me. i didn't feel like "cooking", but i couldn't find a ripe avocado or a pizza place, so it was a bowl of udon for me. it wasn't too bad; it was cold out, but i felt good.

instead of telling you a lot, i'm just going to skip to the photos.

on the road

Sunday, May 04, 2008

arrr, matey.

who would have thought there were so many open networks all around? if i'd have known they were all over down here, i wouldn't have put my game on hold. i'm playing ikariam, but that's another can look for me on the iota server if you've a mind to.

right now i'm just waiting for my haircut appointment. the great thing about that is that i won't have to wash my hair myself later, and that on subsequent days it will take a lot less shampoo.

after i get my hair done i'll go find some geocaches, i think. the weather is clearing. this morning i went to worship at the east arlington federated church they're UMC and UCC, so i'm right at home. i was among them one sunday a couple of years ago when i was camping up on kelly's stand and i promised them i would visit again. so they're why i stayed up there last night, instead of a different campsite not as scenic but with better amenities.

last night it was pretty chilly on the mountain, and although i forgot to bring the comforter that goes over the whole mess of other bedding, i was still warm enough. it rained pretty hard in the night, and the sound of the rain is soothing to me. the campstie itself is a place where to mountain streams converge and it's so beautiful you almost don't know what to do with it.

i don't know where i'll end up tonight, but i at least know where i can stop to rest, and maybe have a pizza besides.

in the old days i used to cache more frenetically, but this living on the road which used to be a means to an end is now the end in itself. it is a concentrated way to live, out of my car.

today at church i was talking to a gentleman who heard me say i was staying in my car and made sure to ask me if i needed help, to tell me that there would be help for me and that i need not be ashamed to ask.

very sweet of him and i hope i would behave similarly in the same position, but i assured him that although i am presently living in my car, i do have a home of my own to which i can return when i'm done traveling. and i do have a church home to which i will return as well.

they told e again as they told me last time to come back and visit. i promise i will.

Saturday, May 03, 2008


thursday i took off on the road. it's not anything like roughing it and in fact i won't be really roughing it ever, i guess. it's pretty posh living in the back of my car, which i'm not doing yet even.

so far i've been staying with the flyingfishers, which is familiar and good. flyingfisher makes a very good turkey soup. yesterday i actually went caching with flyingfisher, my first caching in a looong time.

on the way to one cache we came across a vernal pool where there was a huge -and i mean huge- mass of frog eggs, in two clumps and the tadpoles, very, very teeny, were just emerging from the eggs. and then we saw other movement in the pool and we happened to catch newts mating.

of course we aren't -or weren't- up-to-speed on the particulars of that act, at least as it applies to newts, so when we got home of course we had to go look it up.

you can go look it up if you want. what was interesting was that we weren't exactly sure of what-all the steps were, and which players were which. we speculated as to the behaviors and the mechanics of this species' fertilization, and whether those were additional males and whether they would compete for mating rights.

turns out that after some courtship (which may or may not occur, depending on the laziness of the male and the receptiveness of the female), the male drops a packet which the female picks up (or doesn't) and manages for herself.

there are some available articles about this arrangement and how since the female not only has total control, but that she typically will accept packets from three males, there isn't any significant competition among males for mating rights.

as for diet, we learned that these guys will eat anything that's living and mouth-sized, which explains why the whole thing took place amount the hatching frog eggs.

who among us hasn't ever been toasty for a snack afterwards?

so everything we saw down at the pool was explained for us very nicely and flyingfisher got some good pictures and i got a few seconds of video.

and we had a lovely dinner of take out indian food.

i slept too late in the morning, but it's rainy and i'm not in a very big hurry to get to my campsite down south.

even so, it's time for me to get on the road, maybe get a haircut and find a place to go to church in the morning.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

where have you been?

well, it's been a while.

and i cut most of you out of the loop, but i wasn't writing anyway.

a lot of stuff happened.

there were some hospital stays, and i lost my job, and Barbara has left our church.
that's all pretty fresh and i'll probably have some things to say about it, but not just yet.

tomorrow i'm hitting the road and going on peregrination, which david says is a lot like pilgrimage, except with no fixed destination.

i have some waypoints loaded and i'll probably spend some time in the ADKs and central NY, maybe going as far south as NJ. we'll see.


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