Tuesday, April 6 2004
An early-April cold snap seemed to break today in the aftermath of a night featuring lows around ten degrees. The sun, much more powerful now than it usually is in such conditons, came out and did what it could to raise temperatures above freezing.
I took the dogs for a walk on a mountain bike trail that leaves the Stick Trail less than a quarter mile from our house and goes down along the Chamomile, eventually ending up on the forested steep uphill grade of Dug Hill Road. We crossed the road and made our way to a substantial stream (the maps call it Englishman's Creek), and then we headed upstream along its banks as it was gradually swallowed up in a deep gorge. On the south side of the gorge was a spectacular rocky cliff featuring the prominent mouth of a cave. I climbed up the cliff to get a better look and decided the cave must have actually been an excavation of a pocket of unusually fractured rock. It reached a good eight feet into the rock and featured a thick midden of ovoid fecal pellets, each about three quarters of an inch long. Nearby was a three-foot-wide patch of snow, a relic of the winter. It was the only snow I'd seen in weeks. The slope was so steep it had sheltered it from the April sun and several 60 degree days.
I continued up the gorge until I found a slope up its south side shallow enough to climb. As "shallow" as it was, I had to stop for a rest half way up. When I got to the top, I found myself at the downhill neighbors' mailbox. It was strange to realize that such a postcard-worthy gorge lay only a couple hundred yards northeast of my laboratory, where I spend the bulk of my days.
Iraq, what a fucked-up mess! Hopefully it will serve as a lesson for generations of would-be George W. Bushes, even if they do use their American history classes for sleeping off their hangovers. Just when it seems like there's no more shit left to hit the fan, up jump the dependably nutty Shi'ite extremists, leading us to all exclaim in unison, (help me here, Bathtubgirl) "Shi'ite Muslim!" I saw a quote in the New York Times (I've long since lost the link) in which some American governing authority, predicting (in the usual suspiciously propagandistic tones of such declarations) that the Shi'ite insurrection would be put down, claimed that Iraq would never go back to the bad old days when the people with guns had all the power. I had to laugh. Who invaded Iraq and never misses a chance to talk optimistically about "handing it over"? Am I to believe that it's okay to be in power when you upgrade from guns to smart bombs?
I've been getting a lot of spam lately with the subject line "the economy is a lot better now." This makes me wonder - are the Republicans helping to finance spammers? I always delete such emails without reading them, but in my mind I'm left with the subject line, a not-especially-subliminal message at that. "Hell," my subconscious concedes, "maybe the economy is better." Fuck the future, fuck the mess in Iraq, I'm voting for George W. His tax cuts aimed at stimulating yatch construction were a stroke of economic genius! By the time we have to pay off the national debt, the Rapture will have come.
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