Eeyore, the old grey Donkey, stood by the side of the stream, and looked at himself in the water. “Pathetic,” he said. “That’s what it is.
– Winnie-the-Pooh

Two Years of this Crap

As of today, I’ve been running this silly little blog for 2 whole years.I’ve been re-reading old entries the past few days as part of my database migration, and I’m noticing that I have much less focus now than I did when I first started this thing.I think it’s because I have sort of back-burnered my century-ride goal, and instead have been pursuing other…poorly defined objectives.

So, here are a few potential objectives, that I might actually try to pull off:

  1. A 100-mile bicycle ride
  2. Kayaking the entire susquehanna river
  3. Becoming a vegetarian
  4. Achieving buddhist enlightenment and/or nirvana
  5. A holy pilgrimage to the Quick-Stop
  6. Getting abducted by aliens

So far, my longest bike ride was about 41 miles. I’m a little less than half way to goal number one.

I have kayaked / canoed maybe 50 miles of the mighty susquehanna. The river is 410 miles long, so I have a long ways to go on that one.

I really like cheeseburgers, so becoming a vegetarian would be difficult, but I understand that it’s kind of a requirement for buddha-enlightenment. You also have to sit in zazen for a very long time.

I just saw clerks 2 last night, and a pilgrimage to the holy Quick-Stop would kick-ass. It’s 190 miles from Mechanicsburg to Leonardo, so it would take me about a week to go out and back by bicycle. I suppose it would be theoretically possible to kayak to it, but I’d have to win the lottery and be pretty seriously mentally ill to attempt it. (In other words, I just need funding)

I’m not sure what selection criterion the aliens use to choose thier abductees. I think I would make a good ambassador to the little green men, but there’s not much I can really do to make this one happen.

All things considered, I think I have the best chance of pulling off the 100 mile bike ride. I think I’m going to re-start my efforts to follow the official training plan.

I got a few books on meditation, too. If I discover the meaning of the universe or any shit like that, I’ll let you know.

Bear Camping

Brandi and I were planning to go kayak camping with some friends in Bald Eagle State Park this weekend. Due to logistical problems, we ended up relocating to Hickory Run state park in the Poconos. Nobody felt much like kayaking, so we went car camping instead.When we checked in to the campground, the (hottie-pants!) ranger lady told us to watch out for bears. She said there were 10 bears in the park:

Two females: one with six(!) cubs, the other with two, and one five hundred pound male.

I was kind of hoping to run into them. Bear pictures would look lovely up here on the blog.

It was really hot out, and I had a hell of a time setting up my tarp. Ultimately, I lost my composure, flew into a rage, and tossed the tarp in the (bear-resistent) dumpster.

Bear Sign

The ranger lady wasn’t shitting us. We went off into town to find firewood, and all the houses had huge steel cages over thier garbage cans and gardens. They must have pretty aggressive bears.

We didn’t think to check ahead of time, but there was a NASCAR race in the Poconos this weekend, so the campground was full of loud, drunken hillbillies, and the lavatories were full of vomit. There’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh air, camp fires, and beer barf cooking in the hot sun.

It wasn’t exactly conducive to communing with nature…

Roughing it
Not everyone wants to rough it

Between the boisterous neighbors and the opressive heat, I didn’t get very much sleep Friday night. But, we had some pretty severe rain on Saturday, which seemed to scare off most of the buffoons.

I deeply regretted the loss of my temper and tarp during the rain storms. Our tent sprung many leaks. I should have seam-sealed it before we left…

The rain cooled things off considerably. It got kind of chilly out Saturday night, but my 40° sleeping bag kept me plenty warm. I also got a insanely luxurious sleeping mat just for this trip. Very comfy.

The upshot is that I slept like a log, and kept half the campground awake with my snoring.

Brandi was somewhat less than amused, but it seemed to keep the bears away. We didn’t see any at all.


Beach on a mountain lake

Despite the hillbillies and the heat, it turned out to be a nice trip.


My brother just picked up a new bike. It’s a dual-boinger mountain bike, so yesterday, we went to the mountains to get some dirt on it.Our bikes in the woods
At the entrace of the Bald Eagle State Forest

This was his first time on a bicycle in 13 years, so we didn’t cover a whole lot of ground (less than 5 miles), which was fine by me. It was hot enough outside to smelt pig iron.

The first days, as the song goes, are the hardest days. Riding gets more fun the more you do it.

The Madcap Laughs No More

I’ve got a bike
You can ride it if you like
It’s got a basket
A bell that rings
And things to make it look good
I’d give it to you if I could
But I borrowed it
Syd Barrett

The raver, the seer of visions, the painter, piper, and prisoner
is gone.

I haven’t been so sad since Professor Sagan died. 🙁

Inconvenient Truth

I went to see An Inconvenient Truth this morning. Brandi decided that the impending collapse of civilization was unworthy of 100 minutes of her attention, so I went alone.

Ticket Stub

Apparently, she isn’t the only one who felt this way. I was completely alone. I was the only one who bought a ticket for this showing, and they fired up the projector just for me.

It was awesome. I plopped my ass smack dap in the center of the theater with my big bucket of popcorn and gallon of coke (the smallest size they sell, apparently).

The movie kind of felt like two completely separate shows spliced together. One was of Al doing his slideshow presentation (which totally kicked ass), and the other was of Al’s personal crusade (which felt kind of phoney).

The slideshow was great. Plenty of charts and graphs, interspersed with some actually fairly funny jokes to break up the monotony.

The “Al Gore as regular schmoe” parts kind of bugged me. They show him standing in line at the airport, and flying on commercial airlines. I somehow doubt that a former vice president travels this way. There was no sign of secret service anywhere, either.

I give it 4 Jihadis.

4 Jihadis out of 5

I’m afraid that this movie is probably just preaching to the choir. People who already know the truth about global warming don’t learn very much from this film. People who deny global warming are willfully ignorant, and probably wouldn’t go see the film anyway.


I have been spending far too much time on blasphemy, and not nearly enough on bicycling lately.To remedy the situation, Girtong2 and I were planning to do a bicycle tour of Gettysburg today, but a number of factors conspired to make that impractical. Instead, we decided to have a go at circumnavigating the Capital Area Greenbelt


the CAGA is well marked in some places

We set out from City Island, and headed up the riverfront. There was some sort of parade of firetrucks running down front street, so the bike path was crowded with onlookers. Just before Wildwood lake, we were treated to breathtaking views of the industrial bucolic splendor of Harrisburg.



After we passed Wildwood lake, we sort of lost the trail. We found it again on the HACC campus, but it quickly deteriorated and became unridable. Either the construction of the greenbelt is not fully completed, or we were utterly lost. Neither would be surprising.

We backtracked, but were still unable to find the trail. Girtong2 tried to make use of his top secret Masonic distress signal, but to no avail.

A Faceless Mason
Who keeps the metric system down?

We decided to cut through what realtors would probably call an “up and coming” neighborhood. The streets were covered in broken glass, garbage, and filth. Luckily, nobody got a flat tire.

When we returned to the riverfront, where we found the firetrucks doing some sort of ceremony pumping water from the river, and spraying it back into the river… The geese were not amused.

Firetrucks spraying water

Firetrucks pissing off the geese

When it was all said and done, we covered about 15 miles on our wandering route.

Lay in Hell

This just “embedded reporters” in the lake of fire report that Enron founder Ken Lay has arrived on the eighth plane of hell*. He is awaiting paperwork to determine whether he was “merely fradulent” or a fully blown traitor. In the case of the former, he is likely to remain on the eighth plane, in the case of the latter, he will be transported to the ninth plane for his eternal torment.

The Devil
The Devil is stoked!

Lucifer’s press secretary issued a statement that Lay is expected to end up “somewhere in the second zone [of the ninth plane]”.

Satan could not be reached for comment.

*For a complete discussion of the geography of hell, consult “The Divine Comedy”

Patriotic Heresy

All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.
Thomas Paine

In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.
Thomas Jefferson

Every so often, some ignoramus will get on the television and spout some jibberish to the effect that the United States was founded by Christians, and therefore we should have prayer in school, teach creationism, or indoctrinate our children in some form or another of superstitious foolishness.

If you still think that the founding fathers were all Jesus freaks, you might want to check out Freethinkers.


It’s a complete history of all the good things atheists, agnostics, heretics, and heathens have accomplished in the history of the country. Starting from colonial times, right up to today.

It’s a history book, so it drags a bit in some parts, but overall, it kicks ass.

I considered giving it 4.5 jihadis. I’m not sure I want to get involved with non-integer numbers of jihadis, so it gets 4.
4 Jihadis out of 5

In related news, the people who run Colonial Williamsburg are doing some cool podcasts. This week’s is a reading of the Declaration of Independance by a Thomas Jefferson reenactor.

Next week, there will be a debate between Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry on the separation of church and State.


I can’t make myself stop reading people’s trailjournals. If I’m not careful, I’m liable to sell everything I own, quit my job, and become a full time hiker hippie.

Hikers on a rocky outcropping

Pictures like this make me want to live in the woods 🙂