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Category: Travels

Observations while wandering near and far.

The best thing about going away …

… is coming home. More over the weekend when I’m recovered. But for now, I’ll just say that at the monastery I was well-fed, well-accommodated, enchanted by beautiful (though incomprehensible) church services, in excellent company, and very well-satisfied with being a student iconographer. Thank you for making it possible. 3+


Special Sunday

This afternoon, or perhaps tomorrow morning depending, I head off to the long-awaited iconography workshop. I’ll be staying at a monastery for nearly a week. Though I will take the laptop, I have no idea whether there’s wifi in the vicinity. Under the circumstances this is a question I’d feel really off-point asking. So if I don’t blog until next weekend, don’t worry. I haven’t been kidnapped by agents of the Deep State or taken up into an alien spacecraft and subjected to anal probes (but I repeat myself). I’m just studying icons and enjoying away-time, courtesy of the retreat…


Free printable USGS topo maps

Here. It’s not at all intuitive how you use the main map to get the topo map you’re looking for. Mostly, zoom in, zoom in, and zoom in again until you see the little red rectangles for the quad you’re interested in. Select said quad map; save or open. Then zoom in, zoom in, and zoom in again on the quad map to see good things like logging roads and trails. (H/T MJR) 0


Midweek links

  • A (semi) mainstreamer observes that there really is a liberal media bubble and tries to understand why.
  • The residents of Trier, Germany, don’t seem to want that gift statue of Karl Marx. But not because … well, you know, Marx. And the hundreds of millions of deaths his ideas led to. But because they don’t like the giver.
  • Which is more unjust? That a possible war criminal got away with it for decades? Or that “justice” now calls for extraditing a 98-year-old man?… 11 Comments
  • Monday links

  • Even in our age of omni-surveillance and omni-suspicion this is weird and creepy. (H/T CB)
  • Is there room at the inn (in law schools, that is) for conservative and libertarian academics?
  • In the Internet age, even in that part of the Internet age when “self-identification” is the new holy grail, representing yourself to be something you are not can not only bite you, but go on biting and biting and biting you.… 14 Comments
  • Monday links

    A Scottish brewery — opening in the U.S. today — not only allows employees to bring dogs to work. It gives them a week off when they get a new puppy or adopt a rescue dog. (H/T Joel) The final (?) chapter has been written in the life and death of Kennewick Man. Google and Bing sign a pact to be even more secretively manipulative than they already are with search results. Kickstarter: Wearable luggage for the frequent traveler. (Tip o’ hat to MJR who ponders whether this clothing might also substitute for a bug-out bag) Gunblogger Kim du Toit…


    Tripping thoughts

    Funny. When I was a teenager I had three big dreams. I wanted to own my own house, write a novel, and travel. Now I’ve owned 10 or 11 houses and am in the one where I hope to stay for the rest of my life. I love it. Don’t regret a minute of it. I wrote a novel. Two if you count the compilation of Hardyville Tales. And I don’t know how many non-fiction books. Not the Great American Novel I had in mind at 16, but I did what I could and am glad of it. I also…


    Good news and bad news (but more good than bad)

    Good news! Old Blue made it all the way to the Big City without a hiccup. AND there was no snow, ice, or even hellacious amounts of rain to hinder us. (I mean, there was rain of course; there always is. But not the biblical deluge the weather person warned of.) Even better. The specialist recommended against surgery. He says he’ll do it if I want, but that no harm will come to me from not having it. Well, that’s a no-brainer. More good news. I made it to the town with the float tank and am now safely ensconced…


    When AAA goes bad

    Cough …. cough … sputter. I knew it was a mistake the other day when I boasted about Old Blue’s sterling reliability. Sputter … gasp. Suddenly I feel the horsepower of a wooden go-kart under my right foot. Cough. But all is well. Though I’m miles from home, I’m in an area I know. And right there’s the parking lot of a defunct neighborhood c-store. I coast in as the engine finally dies. After a moment of “Ohshit, what now?” I call R., an old faithful shade-tree mechanic who lives only a few miles from where Old Blue now refuses…