Monday, November 24, 2008

The way vampires talk

The Twilight craze has hit J.'s school. He overheard two girls discussing the Twilight movie.

One girl, not too keen on the books, asked "Why is the dialogue so corny? Why does Edward talk that way?"

And the other girl, a fanatic, replied,"Well, he just doesn't know any better. He's a vampire--he's not normal, so he doesn't know that's not the way people talk."

The excuse for vampires prone to corny language: they just don't know any better!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A normal morning

I think Jon learned something new about what it's like to live with a hard-of-hearing person.

Earlier this week, he accidentally locked himself out of the house one morning while going outside to warm his car up. As this was a workday, he needed to get inside pretty quick to get the rest of his stuff.

I was in the bathroom at this time, enjoying the warmth of our space heater while getting ready for work.

He started out by knocking on the door (which I didn't hear). Then ringing the doorbell (which I didn't notice). Then pounding on the door (which I didn't notice). Then furiously assaulting the door and doorbell (which I still didn't register). By this time, he realized that I was not coming to the door and that he would need to figure out another way to get in. So he climbed on top of the first floor back-porch, crawled up and over the roof of the house, and squeezed through a window into our front room.

When I say I didn't "notice" or "register" these frantic noises he was making, I mean that I did hear them, but that my brain (bless its heart, trying to process mumbo-jumbo) translated these various noises as: Pope galloping through the apartment (which he does often enough) and Jon gargling salt water (he had a cold at this time). How the doorbell could sound like gargles is beyond me, but that's just the closest match my brain could come up with.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Spence Field Shelter

Spence Field Shelter
Originally uploaded by ozimanndias8
This is one of the nicely refurbished shelters on the trail. They used to be more cramped, with chain link fences stretched across the open side, the idea being that this would keep bears out. As hikers were expected to cook their food behind the chain link fence, hang their food bags from the roof behind the fence, and keep all their intoxicatingly smelly gear behind the fence, where do you think the bears wanted to be?

A hiker we met at this shelter told a bear story about this very shelter. He and his wife were eating behind the fence when a bear came up. "Oh, how cute!" They said, taking its picture as it paced back and forth in front of the fence. They stopped saying that when it hooked a claw under the gate and opened it as if it were a welcoming door. It came in, grabbed a backpack and dragged it out, where it proceeded to maul it in search of food. When it found nothing, it returned and took the food they were eating.

Maybe you're asking why we stay in shelters, knowing that 400 pound+ creatures are roaming nearby. Our reasons are this: bears are interested in food. They have no interest in altercations with humans. We hang our food a good ways from the shelter, and cook all our food outside the shelter so that there is no inviting scent associated with the shelter, calling out to bears: "Free dinner! Here!"

We are 1 million more times likely to be assaulted by mice than bears.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Welcome sight at the end of the day

The simple things in life really stand out when you go hiking. Nothing warms the heart and lightens the load like seeing shelter just ahead after a long day's hike.

An adventure for the day

I have a little adventure to relate, from our time in the Smokies in October. On our last morning there, at Icewater Springs Shelter, I had to use the privy (shortly after Jon took the picture above).

Obviously, the privy is a little ways from the shelter: through the grass, down a couple rock steps and over a log. And it was dark. So I'm inside the privy, steeling myself up to bare my skin to the bitter cold (we woke up to frost), when I hear a deep "Hwoof!"

As this is not the typical sound of wind or birds (which weren't even out), I paused, a little perplexed. Again, "hwoof!"

And again (imagine the sound a large dog makes).

When that connection was made, the next logical step sent the adrenaline pumping through my limbs: what if this is a bear?...And why am I still out here, vulnerably situated in a giant box?

I hightailed it out of there, every step agonizingly slow, acutely aware of the wind nipping the back of my neck.

Later that day, I mentioned this to Jon. He slowly turned his head to look at me, eyes solemn,"That's the sound a bear makes when he is making his presence known."

Monday, November 10, 2008

What this blog says about me

There's several ways to analyze your blog or website to see what it says about you.

Typeanalyzer uses the Myers-Briggs method to determine what part of your brain you use the most while writing.

Genderanalyzer uses artificial intelligence to determine what sex you write like.

Blog Readability Test determines what grade level your blog is written at.

What is Your Blog Worth determines the profitability level of your blog based on Technorati ratings and advertising potential.

According to Typeanalyzer, I am an ISTP (Mechanic). This means that I "enjoy adventure and risk such as driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters." Let us pause a moment and ponder how true this is.

Genderanalyzer tells me that I write like a man.

The Blog Readability Test has decided that I write at the college/postgrad level.

The worth of my blog is around $565.

Thanks to LibraryBytes for this.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

An idea for change

In light of some people's despair (which I do not share) over Obama becoming president, thinking this will usher in a godless age (isn't this what some group of people or other think about every new president or ruler?), they would do well to consider Cal Thomas's article Religious Right R.I.P. He suggests that instead of trying to wield "political power for influence" (which hasn't really amounted to much in the past 30 years), evangelicals should instead focus their energy on following the example of Jesus (It always astonishes me how this is an old idea that is always new): living the life they would like to see everyone else live.

A quote: "Too many conservative Evangelicals have put too much faith in the power of government to transform culture. The futility inherent in such misplaced faith can be demonstrated by asking these activists a simple question: Does the secular left, when it holds power, persuade conservatives to live by their standards? Of course they do not. Why, then, would conservative Evangelicals expect people who do not share their worldview and view of God to accept their beliefs when they control government?"

Friday, November 07, 2008




This was about four days worth of food, pots, sleeping bags, clothes to sleep in, sleeping pads, and other what-nots: a house on your back, so to speak. Jon's pack weighed almost 30 pounds.

We should have put the cat in there for scale.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Obama smiling at the cheers

Jon and I ended up at the Obama rally in Cincinnati, OH on Sunday through random chance. We were in town visiting the animals at the zoo. After oohing over the big cats, we decided to scope out the McMillian Street neighborhood for food and we saw a flyer for the rally while walking past a coffeehouse. We figured it would be a once in a lifetime opportunity, especially if he was going to be president.

This was my first rally, and I think it will be my last. 95% waiting, and 5% trying to see and hear the man over and around the noise and frantically waving signs.

Obama could say "The" and everyone would start screaming. But it was worth it.

There are more pictures over at flickr.