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  #151  
Old 12-19-2015, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PabloCruise View Post
That was the book they mentioned in the Trails, eh?
Yes, and a great read.
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  #152  
Old 12-19-2015, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanS View Post
http://www.amazon.com/At-End-Santa-F.../dp/1162764767

It's basically the journal kept by Sister Blandina Segale. Absolutely fascinating look at the frontier days of mostly New Mexico, but a little of Colorado.

Perry: I'll get it to you once I'm done. There's a lot more talk of Billy the Kid than I would have expected.

No wonder she's up for possible Sainthood! She was absolutely amazing!

Dan

Read a few paragraphs that your dad showed me. She sounds like an amazing lady. It's actually on my to get/read list. She seemed to make an impression on the Kid!!

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  #153  
Old 12-28-2015, 01:45 PM
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You have to make time to read some Abbey every once in a while...

Merry Christmas, Pigs!
By Edward Abbey, from Abbey's Road

Scrooge was right. What I like best about Christmas in the desert is the conspicuous
absence of Christmas. By late December the cone-nosed humbugs are gone and all the
horny elf toads retired into their burrows for the season. When somebody asks me
what I think of Christmas (nobody ever does), I reply, "Not much." Easy to avoid it
our here in the rocks.

Think about Ebeneezer Scrooge and Bobby Riggs, the twin patron saints of us
middle-aged cryptoliberals. Cryptoliberal? Well, sure, why not? I have been called
other names even worse. Misanthrope. Sexist. Elitist. Crank. Barbarian. Anarcho-
syndicalist. Wild conservative. And my favorite, from a Maoist lady in New York--
she called me a creeping Fascist hyena. Quite true, so far as it goes (you can't please
everybody), but they forget to add that I am a pig lover too.

The pig I'm talking about is the one known also as a peccary or javelina, the wild pig
of the Arizona desert; not a true pig exactly, according to zoologists, but a good
approximation--a close relation. Close enough for me, and the javelina, commonly
defined as a "wild pig-like animal," is the best kind of pig. Though that definition,
come to think of it, is a shade too broad. Some of my best friends qualify as wild pig-
like animals without half trying. But that's another issue. The fault of the permissive
social atmosphere, the Bill of Rights, the general weakening of moral fibers
everywhere you look.

Back to my topic: Christmas and pigs. Have you ever stood alone under the full moon
in the prickly cholla-mesquite desert on the night before Christmas and found yourself
surrounded by a herd of hungry, snuffling, anxiety-ridden javelinas? I have, and it's a
problematic situation: some of those little fifty pound beasts carry tusks and have been
known to charge a full-grown man right up the hairy trunk of a saguaro cactus. That's
the story I've been told by old-timers around here.

In any case, this part is true: I was surrounded by javelinas while O'Ryan [sic] chased
the Seven Sisters around the Big Bear and the moon looked kindly down. To say that I
was nervous would have been an overexaggeration. Though unarmed and on foot, I
was happy, at ease, and comfortably drunk.

The herd of javelinas was aware of my presence. The mind of a wild pig is
unpredictable. These couldn't make up their minds whether to run or stay. After a
while, since I made no move, they stayed. I could see them plain in the bright
moonshine: parody pigs with oversized heads and undersized hams; each one bristly
as a wire brush. They trotted from bush to bush and cactus to cactus, anxious restive
fellows, all fits and starts, busy, busy, busy. I was accepted, but not welcome; they
hoped I wouldn't stay. As I watched, I heard the sound of their vigorous jaws at work-
-a crunching of jojoba nuts, the munching of prickly pear. In all nature there's no
sound more pleasing than a hungry animal at its feed.

Ask any cattleman or farmboy.
Down by Aravaipa Creek I heard the barking of a fox. An owl called. Everybody out
shopping for supper. There was a good strong odor in the air, the rank and racy musk
of half-alarmed javelinas. I like that smell, just as I enjoy the smell (at a comfortable
distance) of skunk out looking for trouble. Associations: the wild tang of skunk brings
back October nights, raccoons and baying hounds, the big woods and foggy hills of
Old Pennsylvania. That smell means Arizona too; a border wolf, a desert bighorn, a
mountain lion crouched on a ledge above the deer path in the chapparal.

Good smells, good things, important, hard to find on Speedway in Tucson or Central
Avenue up in Phoenix.

Now and then one of the larger javelinas, suffering from curiosity, would come close
to me, sniff, advance, and retreat, trying to figure out exactly what this thing is that
stands there like a bush that breathes but smells like Jim Beam, moves a little.
Suspicious; from time to time, a ripple of panic passed through the herd like a wave
through water. They knew something was wrong, but didn't know what. One minute
they're on the point of exploding in all directions, pig fashion. A minute later they
forget the danger, start feeding again.

Then what happened? An angel came down from the stars in a long white robe to give
us a lecture on the meaning of Christmas? No. I'll admit I have a weakness for simple
fact, even if it spoils the story. Maybe that's the main difference between a serious
literary artist like me and one of your ordinary sports columnists, say, who writes for
the newspaper. But I don't want to make any harsh judgments here; this is supposed to
be the season of goodwill toward people. Sports columnists too. And wild pigs.
As my hero Ebeneezer says, if the spirit of Christmas is more than humbug then we're
obliged to extend it to all creatures great and small including men, women, children,
foreigners, Mexicans, coyotes, scorpions Gila monsters, snakes, centipedes,
millipedes, termites and the wild pigs of the Arizona desert. That's the reason the
Arizona Game and Fish Department puts off javelina season until January. Out of a
decent respect for that annual outburst of love and goodwill we call Christmas.

As for the herd of javelinas snorting around me, the truth is, nothing much of anything
happened. In fact, I got bored first, tired of simulating a saguaro cactus. I picked up a
couple of rocks, in case one of those husky beasts with the tusks came at me, and
tiptoed off through the prickly pear. I did not wish to disturb my friends, but they took
alarm anyway, erupting in various directions. Would take them an hour to reassemble.
None charged me. Despite many meetings with javelinas, I have yet to come eyeball
to eyeball with one. Even though I've charged them a few times, out of meanness, just
to see them run.

If I were good and hungry, would I eat a javelina? Yes. I'd roast its head in a pit of
mesquite coals and scramble my eggs with its brains. I have no quarrel with any man
who kills one of God's creatures in order to feed his women and children and old
folks. Nothing could be more right and honorable, when the need is really there. I
believe humanity made a serious mistake when our ancestors gave up the hunting and
gathering life for agriculture and towns. That's when they invented the slave, the serf,
the master, the commissar, the bureaucrat, the capitalist, and the five-star general.

Wasn't it farming made a murderer of Cain? Nothing but trouble and grief ever since,
with a few comforts thrown here and there, now and then, like bourbon and ice cubes
and free beer on the Fourth of July, mainly to stretch out the misery.

Sermons aside, the javelinas and I parted company that moonlight night with no hard
feelings, I hope, on either part. They had the whole east slope of Brandenburg
Mountain to ramble over, and I had my cabin to crawl back into, where I keep my
bearskin and this neurotic typewriter with a mind of its own. Christmas or no
Christmas, it does my chilly Calvinist heart a lot of good to know those javelinas are
still out there in the brush, pursuing happiness in their ancient piglike manner. What
would Arizona be without a Game and Fish Department? Without a Sportsmen's
Association? Hard to say. I wonder. But what would Arizona be without wild pigs?

Why, no wonder at all. Arizona would be another poor, puny, poverty-struck antheap
like California, not fit for man or his dog.

Happy Christmas, brothers and sisters.
Long live the weeds and the wilderness.
Merry New Year, pigs!
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  #154  
Old 01-26-2016, 10:09 AM
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Monthly update:

Read In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan. This has been an interesting read about the rise of nutritionism in our society and its possible detrimental effects. I think it will definitely keep me aware of the way we frame ideas related to food, as in referring to the nutrient content rather than to the idea of the food as a whole complete package, and by so doing miss out on some very important aspects of our food. I intended to read another one of his books, but this was available on audiobook so I gave it a shot to start getting the gist of his argument(s). These 7 words, containing 3 rules, summarize the book. "Eat food. Not too much, mostly plants."

Started 100 Smart Choices: Easy Ideas for Living Healthier and Happier by OptumHealth. Not sure why I started this, I guess I got it from my health insurance provider or something and thought it could give some ideas to start each day while I wait for the shower to warm up. It's motherhood and apple pie though, so I wouldn't necessarily recommend it.

Read Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. An interesting book, self-admitting that it has no unifying theme except to ask uncommon questions and wade through the data to find the answers. An interesting discussion on the economic and social impacts of Roe v. Wade, and also a lengthy section at the end that was interesting that dealt with the impacts parents have on their children through the ways they act as well as how they name their offspring.

Started Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath.

Also read No Easy Day: The First Hand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden by Mark Owen. Loved it. No explanation necessary.
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  #155  
Old 01-26-2016, 11:15 AM
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Currently working my way through:

The Man Who Moved a Mountain

A great read so far.

BILLY THE KID: The Endless Ride

LAMY OF SANTA FE: A Biography.

Recently finished:

WYOMING: A Guide to Historic Sites

1356

Awesome read. Scared to get the others in the series as i'd probably get nothing done.

TRIGGERNOMETRY: A Gallery of Gunfighters

Interesting read. A little bland at times though....


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COLORADO: my "Monument in Green"
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  #156  
Old 02-26-2016, 02:51 PM
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Another month, a little slower this time. Maybe I'm forgetting something though. I've been trying to finish a couple that have languished so maybe I'll get caught up again this month.

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber. I thought this book is great on its coverage of small businesses, have floated it around to a few people I know and none yet have heard of it.

Stepping Up: A Call to Courageous Manhood by Dennis Rainey. Started a men's small group at church and this is the book/series we're covering.

Edge of Eternity by Ken Follet. Turns out I should have read Fall of Giants first and Winter of the World second, but oh well. The book stands on its own. It's a historical fiction piece that covers approximately 1961 to 1989
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  #157  
Old 03-06-2016, 06:03 PM
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Just finished this: Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements

It's essentially the authorized history of the band. Both Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson talked to the author extensively during the 5 years he spent writing it. The Replacements has been at the top of my favorite band list for a couple of decades, so I highly anticipated this book. What I learned:
  • While they always had a reputation for drinking, I didn't realize how much. They were serious alcoholics that were lucky enough to be good musicians.
  • They sabotaged their own success and the efforts of the people surrounding them. They were jerks, especially Paul Westerberg.
  • It's not a sad story about a band that deserved more recognition than they received. They got what they deserved.
  • I think I'd like their music less if I ever met Paul and Tommy. I'm glad that I haven't.
If you're a fan of the band, it's worth reading. If you're not a fan, don't bother. It will just piss you off.
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  #158  
Old 03-06-2016, 08:01 PM
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Just finished "House of Rain" by Craig Childs and "Finding Everett Ruess" by David Roberts.

Yeah, I'm missing the Desert!
Also just finished all three "Walking Dead" Compendiums. Yeah, I'm bored in Iowa...
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  #159  
Old 03-06-2016, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDH33 View Post
Just finished "House of Rain" by Craig Childs and "Finding Everett Ruess" by David Roberts.

Yeah, I'm missing the Desert!
Also just finished all three "Walking Dead" Compendiums. Yeah, I'm bored in Iowa...
Yes on House of Rain! And about time!! Next, you should read Secret Knowledge of Water.

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-87 Toyota 4runner. Flat bed by Proffitts Cruisers 5.29 gears, rear locker. 33" mt/r tires. Snackster cooker. Eazi-Awn 1200 RTT and more tube work by the Homegrown Crew . And still more to come


COLORADO: my "Monument in Green"
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  #160  
Old 03-28-2016, 02:12 PM
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Another month has gone by already!?

How Not to be Wrong by Jordan Ellenberg. Or, a mathematician's take on the world. Still not really sure how to rate this one. Some put it in the top 100 books, but I don't see how it's practical unless you either a) are a mathematician or b) have algorithms close at hand but think like a mathematician. Or an economist. Which isn't a bad thing. For a book with a simple sounding title, the methods are not so simple.

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas. Really liking this. Pre- and mid-WW2 Germany, the plots to overthrow/assassinate Adolf Hitler, and a man who was very influential on the thinking of the Christian church in the 20th century.

Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker. For $7.86 on Amazon, buy this book and read it. It will take less than an hour.

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You by John C. Maxwell

Need a copy of Evolutionary Psychology by David Buss and/or The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins, if anyone has one lying around. I know the library has The Selfish Gene.
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1977 FJ40 2F "Brahma" + Lockright, tach, Warn 8274, FJ60 Power Steering, no more Sanden OBA (factory emissions), so Puma OBA
1996 FZJ80 1FZ-FE factory lockers + Safari intercooled turbo, Warn M12000, OEM CDL switch, cup holder, and hand throttle, Metric TLC leather, heated seats, JDM switches, Puma OBA
2000 Tundra Limited TRD 2UZ-FE SOLD

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