NOTE: Open post and then Single Click On first Post Photo to view an album in a more detailed, larger format...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

BlueBells And BumbleBees, and News And Booze Do Not Mix

I might as well go ahead and apologize—get it out of the way—for what I'm afraid will turn ugly. I'm sorry; so there.
Knowing where we're headed, let's start with something positive. The monsoons began cranking up July 1st, right on schedule. Maybe now the upper hand can be had on those stubborn forest fires that tend to scare the bejesus out of forest dwellers who built dream homes in "Nature," not to mention, smoke up photo ops for camera toting tourists. A little help from the Upper Hand wouldn't hurt, but God's likely too pissed off at humanity to lend a Hand (does He ever, really? I think we're on our own here else the "experiment" be flawed). 

And speaking of the Almighty, I suppose you heard the news about the "new" discovery of something called the "God particle." Check this out:

"Physicists said Thursday the potential discovery of the "God particle" was a gateway to a new era that could see humanity unlock some of the universe's great mysteries including dark matter.

The European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) unveiled data from the Large Hadron Collider on Wednesday "consistent with the long-sought Higgs boson", an elusive particle thought to help explain why matter has mass.

It was hailed as a huge moment for science by physicists gathered in Australia, where CERN's findings were unveiled via videolink from Geneva at a landmark conference attended by hundreds of the field's top experts.

Scientists went into a frenzy following the announcement, speculating that it could one day make light speed travel possible by "un-massing" objects or allow huge items to be launched into space by "switching off" the Higgs.

CERN scientist Albert De Roeck likened it to the discovery of electricity, when he said humanity could never have imagined its future applications."

"What's really important for the Higgs is that it explains how the world could be the way that it is in the first millionth of a second in the Big Bang," de Roeck told AFP.

"Can we apply it to something? At this moment my imagination is too small to do that." Amy Coopes; AFP

Well, at least they named the particle after Him. Can you imagine the fight over wording in future textbooks : 

God, God-The-Father, God The God-Father, His Son, His God-Son, and the Holy Ghost-Spirit-Pneuma-Whatever, is known as the Father of the God Particle (even though he had nothing to do with its discovery). Although scientists remain highly skeptical about Creationism, let alone, the existence of an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscience "God," they caved to Religious Right lobbyists on this one by naming the previously undiscovered matter... the new "secret of the Universe," after God. When the scientific community refused to capitalize the "G," negotiations broke down. But Lame Duck President R-omni interceded in the stalemate by attaching a "rider" to the Congressional Bill 14U-94ME... one that would easily pass in a Super-majority Democrat controlled Congress. The shoe-in bill granted twenty five percent raises to Senators and Representatives, plus health, vision and dental (including cleanings and whitenings) for them and their descendants... forever. In return, The R-Omni "Rider" makes Mormonism the official religion of America and provides Government subsidized discounts at Walmart for all church going members. 

You laugh at my mockery (or maybe you don't), but given past buffoonery in DC, it could happen. 

The God Particle discovery might have the world's top physicists jumping up and down but it doesn't really change my world one iota. I'll jump up and down when kids quit dying of cancer, starvation, or when plain old suffering leaves them alone. Call me a naive party-pooper, but it would be nice if some of the money spent on Star Wars and Physics Stuff actually could be put to use improving lives and living right now. And how about this (duh), why not alleviat some of the pain and suffering at the pump. How about getting back to work on inventing something other than gasoline for our fuel tanks! 

Can someone tell me WTF ever happened to the highly touted Hydrogen Fuel Cell? Remember that, how it was going to covert ordinary water into fuel and was about to revolutionize, if not outright save, this Planet of Apes. How nice it would be to say, "No thanks," to greedy middle east oil barons that hate our guts but love our money. 

Which leads me to ask, why, for God-Particles sake, is General Motors (and Oregonians) so freaking excited about the heavily subsidized (your tax dollars at waste) Chevy Volt? Popular Mechanics (a real Man's Magazine) plugged a Volt into a 110 VAC outlet for eleven hours (240 VAC cuts charge time in half) and then test drove it. After a whopping 31 miles the gasoline backup engine had to kick on. Wow, what range... I'll take two; the world is getting greener by the second; the polar icecaps are refreezing! 

Figure in that the Volt costs three times as much as a four cylinder gas Toyota Corolla that gets 45 miles to the gallon and who-tell-me-who is going to buy it besides Oregonians and rich greenies in Hollywood? Where do you even find 240 VAC, anyway? They make the damn Field Of Dreams car, and assume the power will come. Even when/if you find a 240 VAC "parking meter," what if it's occupied? will their be an "electric pump" waiting line? Who wants to wait hours in line to get "gas," especially when it only gets you 31 miles down the road... 40 if you turn off the AC? Right.   

I'm sorry, maybe I had one too many Forth of July Colorado Boy IPA'S to be watching the news last night, a BIG mistake that had me making Smart Alec remarks to the TV... as if it listens and tells Network people in New York City what I'm saying. Oh that's right, you have to Tweet them (right, when hell freezes over). 

I fell into bed early with a good old fashioned book, hoping to cure a Societal Hangover. As my eyes went down the pages, my mind was asking serious questions about the world we live in, the U.S.A. in particular. What is going on? What's with the choices being made for us even as we cry out, "No!" What's with the emphasis on he said-she said? Where does the "down only" political elevator take us? It takes us down.

Honestly, between the God Particle uproar, First Grade level political ads (na na na na-naaaaaa na) and vapid-to-the-point-of Black Hole TV programing, I'm at a loss to restore my confidence in the system—in—in our leadership, particularly, which is our system... yes, and by "system" I mean Brokers, Banks, CEO's, Corporates and Governments... at every level. Everyone and eveything that's beyond our paltry grasp and control... including, dare I say it, other people... who more and more act like they were educated at Jerry Springer U..  

Our insipid Leadership talks down to us like we're their children instead of electors. Most are corrupted with self-serving mindsets, incivility, banality and TV "Pop Culture" mentalities. I came away from the "news" last night aghast at the things being chosen to focus on... against our usurped political, financial and common sense wills. "Berlin Walls" continue to be built by pundits and political special interest groups... ones that separate, divide, denominationalize, splinter, and whittle away at unity, which, of course, serves to keep us weak and real change on the horizon. And "they" wonder why it's taking so long for the economy to recover? Look who's driving, for crying out loud! 

Mark my words, some Nutty Professor will find a way to make a weapon out of God Particles one fine day and off to war we'll go... to "protect our interests," of course... spending money faster than it can be printed, while the physical and societal infrastructures of our civilization rot in the proverbial hand-basket that's going straight to hell. Fortunately, I'll be in the Mountains when this all happens... wading Bluebells and Bumblebees.

Our attempt to climb West Hayden Peak was a race against weather

The day started out ok

But it didn't take long for thunderheads to build

It didn't help that I kept stopping to photograph the flora and fauna

Making progress, but clouds darken

Who can resist such a pose?

Uh, Bobbie... was that thunder?

God, I love Cloud Art...

Almost half way...

Rumbles in the distance... Stop to watch clouds, then keep going

Clouds look like hand puppets

Lightning strikes a little too close... we head down after making it two thirds of the way to summit. Discretion is the better part of Valor.  

Still in the sun, but It's rolling our way...

I wouldn't want to be climbing Mt Sneffels today

Now that's a cloudburst

We came back four days later and finished what we started


  1. And yet we still celebrate the 4th like we had freedom. I don't get it. One of the reasons I don't watch the news so I don't get all riled up. I'd rather watch your gorgeous photos of the mountains.

  2. Personally I feel you are over optimistic about the USA future.

  3. Photos - just gorgeous! thank you, thank you, for this blog. I am beyond these type hikes physically, but I feel that I'm right there with you with your wonderful photos. AND great thoughts as well - which I agree with wholeheartedly. Very well said.
    Julie from TX

  4. Well, I'm not into politics too much but I do get the gist of what your saying & do agree with your feelings about a lot of stuff. There are a lot of Ostrich's out there with their heads in the sand doing most of the squawking it seems. I have to agree with Barney as well. In the overall realistic grand scheme of things I do not view the world's future with a lot of optimism. It's just the reality of what it is & not the way we would like it to be or what the squawking Ostrich heads would have us believe it to be......

  5. Ah - I truly fine rant!!! Now don"t you feel better Mark? I know I do- I am waiting to see if you get a lurker out there to come back in refute all your claims__ Exxon really wants only what is best for its customers and strives to reduce gas prices as low as possible- Both Dems and Republicians are really going to strive to come together for the benefit of our nation-Congress is detemined that all americans have same benefits that they enjoy-Lets
    hear from both sides

  6. Gaelyn,
    The Fourth of July is a little like Veterans Day, Christmas Thanksgiving and Memorial Day... more of a day off or a long weekend and all about food, which is fine, but at some point we need to remember the purpose along with the "fireworks." Thanks

    I don't see things changing, really, no matter who gets elected. Our Teflon leaders will continue to spend more than we make... squabble, point blaming fingers, and fib. We should throw the bums out and start over.

    Spotted Dog,
    Thanks for stopping by :))

    Haven't heard from you in a while... hope all is well in Texas. Thanks for expressing your sincere appreciation for the Box Canyon Blog, it fills a tank that sometimes runs on empty. :))

    Bayfield Al,
    I don't blame you for shying away from politics... it tends to peg my Frustration Meter.

    I can't wait till you start loading up the Motorhome and start your trek west. We've been allowing ourselves to start dreaming of our own departure and destinations... and I'm surprised at what we've come up with. Arizona, of course... no surprise there. Utah always... it tugs our red rock loving heartstrings. And the Pacific Northwest... gee, I wish it wasn't so far away. We'll see what the price of fuel is come September.

    Walden Steve,
    Well you really lodged your tongue in your cheek... I hope you can get it out. (:0)
    thanks, mark

  7. The Desert ScruffJuly 6, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    Mark, are you still using an iPhone for your videos? At least that's what I thought you were using early on. Your walking-through-the-flowers footage was impressive. And what camera/lens are you using now? Your photos seem to have reached new levels. September will be here before you know it.

  8. Desert Scruff,
    No, not for videos... sometimes I use a photo taken with my iPhone tho.
    I think photos taken in rarified alpine air have a certain quality you don't get other places because most of the time I'm shooting in the middle of the day in harsh light. Clouds and/or snow helps, too, because it stops down the exposure a notch so you don't get those awful washed out photos. And I try to use a very wide angle lens most of the time. That seems to concentrate color, contrast and emphasizes the wide-openness of where we live.
    Thanks for taking the time to comment D.S. :))

  9. Great post and photos Mark. You should read Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free by Charles Pierce.

    Even if you don't agree with everything it in you got to love the title.


  10. Jim and Gayle,
    The title says it all, doesn't it...
    See you when you get here... I think your visit might overlap with friend and commenter John Q. Maybe we can all get together for a little hike around Ouray's perimeter trail.
    thanks, mark


If you like reading blog posts...from any blogger...consider leaving a "tip" in the form of a "comment" to the author, lest the blog might disappear from perceived lack of interest.