Sunday, September 25, 2016

Treated Myself

To my first Lagavulin...

Lagavulin has been on my To Do list for some time now.  After a day of chores around the homestead I had dinner at The Prescott Brewing Company last evening and treated myself to a dram rather than a dessert.  On first try it seems better at doing everything I like about Scotch whiskey than even Ardbeg or Laphroig, some of my other favorite Islay single malts.

It's a good thing its so expensive or a fella might become too attached to it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A Visit To The San Luis Valley

A brief road trip...

I took some much needed time off last week and made a brief road trip to visit Erik in Crestone, CO, He's been interning at the Baca National Wildlife Refuge. At the end of the month he moves on to his next AmeriCorps contract in Massachusetts. The Baca NWR, where Erik has been interning since July, abuts the Sangre de Cristo mountain range in the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado.

I did my best to use no road twice. I took AZ 87 from Camp Verde to Winslow instead of Interstate 17 through Flagstaff. Had supper at the Holy Cow in Albuquerque with my old friend, David Puthoff. Crashed at a convenient motel across the street that demonstrated what sort of room $37 buys in Albuquerque. Pro Tip: spend a few more dollars and stay at the Days Inn across the parking lot instead...

After accidentally crossing the continental divide I took a serendipitous (utterly unplanned) detour on NM 537 north through the Jicarilla Apache Nation. The drive though Carson National Forest on NM 84 from Tierra Amarilla to Tres Piedras was beautiful. Had lunch at the Chili Line Depot in Tres Piedras.   Their pulled pork sandwich was very nice and their home made potato salad was just right. The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge outside Taos was an unexpected surprise. Then it was north through San Luis - the oldest town in Colorado, and west to Alamosa. After attending a going away party for another team member, Erik and I stayed at the Riverside Inn, a cozy old school motor lodge.

We spent Saturday at the Great Sand Dunes National Park. We climbed the Great Sand Dunes, visited Zapata Falls, and sampled the first and second batches of beer at the new Crestone Brewing Co. We ate too; I had the locally-sourced yak pot roast. Instead of camping in or near the park we crashed at Erik's bunkhouse at the refuge.

Sunday morning I drove (and Erik motorcycled) from Moffat to Salida for breakfast. What a beautiful stretch of road and living history. Sunday afternoon we soaked and were massaged at Joyful Journey Hotsprings Spa. We slept in a yurt.

I drove home today by way of Durango, CO along US 491 south through the Navajo Nation to Gallup, NM. Should have stopped at Shiprock for a picture but I was focused on getting home. I used the mundane I40 to I17 to 169 route to arrive home after an uneventful 11 hour drive.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Maybe God Is A Bad Boss

I suppose it's possible we're not getting the whole story...

No sooner was the celestial kingdom established but a third of the heavenly host rebelled and were cast down from heaven. Then God created a physical world and humankind. But no sooner than it took for Adam to name all the critters and hook up with the only girl in town and - BAM - they give in to temptations and find themselves cast out of paradise. Maybe God is a bad boss? So, if there's free will in heaven what's to keep another third of the angels, or the souls of humankind, from rebelling again? The Book of Job (arguably the oldest book in the bible) gives other clues. What's the big deal about wrestling with behemoth and leviathan? You spoke them both into existence with a word and You can unmake them with a wink. Maybe the various Abrahamics have been snookered. Maybe the Zoroastrians have the straight scoop. Maybe it really is nasty barroom brawl on earth at it is in heaven, winner take all...and no clear winner in sight.

Yeah, some days Unbelievable gets me going...

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

More Books Than I'll Have Time To Read

There are worse problems I suppose...

So, there I was driving through downtown Prescott on my way home after working 20 hours of the last 24, none of them for good reasons. Suddenly I remembered I needed a patch kit for my Thermarest mattress in anticipation of my trip to Colorado to visit son Erik! Granite Mountain Outfitters was closed but, hey, there's The Book Nook! In I went because, well, I've been looking for a copy of The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality, by André Comte-Sponville (seriously, I really have). No joy searching for that slim book in the just barely shoulder width stacks. But look, here were four other volumes begging to be taken home!

The Art of Living, by Epictetus (because Massimo Pigliucci said so)

The Phenomenon of Man, by Teilhard de Chardin (because I read it in my undergrad years, but haven't seen my copy since)

Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse (because Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse)

The Courage to Be, by Paul Tillich (because I like Tillich)

Being about a dozen steps from Rosa's, it seemed only sensible to step in for an antipasto salad and a tall beer. I walked past the tattoo parlor (focus!). After my late lunch I walked to the courthouse square on the chance The Hike Shack was open. It was. Remember that patch kit? It cost $10.00. The Thermarest Slacker Hammock and its tree-friendly suspension kit ran me another $110.00.

There, just like I planned it...