It has been an exceptionally wet summer in real life here what with the remnants of several hurricanes dumping on us here lately and all, but other than the occasional post, it’s a been a long, hot, dry summer here. That’s par for the course around here, though. I abandoned anything like regular posting years ago, despite all intentions and pronouncements (private and public).
Also, since I work in the internets business (sortof), I try not to spend too much time doing internetsy stuff when I’m not working. I fail miserably, of course. My name is Steven, and I am an internet addict. I mean, hell, I’m typing this at 11:05 p.m. on a Sunday night when I should be in bed sleeping or reading a good novel.
Though I started the thinking process long before I read it, this piece by Mr. Merlin Mann sums up a lot of my problems with life in the internets, too.
I’m going to unplug a significant portion of my life. The personal part, anyway. I’m on the internets hook for the forseeable future when it comes to my professional life, but that doesn’t mean I have to abuse it, right? Riiiight. We’ll see how it goes.
It feels like fall’s about to start here, and I plan to do these things this Fall and Winter:
- work in my yard
- get better at an acoustic instrument (hopefully the banjo again)
- eat better, cook more
- pay better (not necessarily more, cause God knows I spend a lot of time on ’em) but better attention to my family
- go fishing
- read novels (not just books, but novels)
- get outside, get a little exercise
I have my own waxing/waning interest in outdoor activities, but this study about the decline in participation in outdoor activities definitely shows a trend I’d rather see going the other way. I hope I can instill some love of the Great Outdoors in The Boy.
As Tom Chandler points out, today is the birthday of Edward Abbey, author of The Monkey Wrench Gang which Chandler calls “a groundbreaking novel about four people who sabotage development projects in the desert wilderness,” though I think it’s more about the frustration of the individual in the face of developers destroying our natural places in order to install yet another infestation of McMansions.
A sort of junior Monkey Wrench Gang is a wonderful book called A Heart to the Hawks by Don Moser (also from 1975 — influenced by MWG?), which I’ve written about here before. Sadly, it is (still) out of print, but you can still find used copies occasionally. It’s about a young boy in post-WWII Ohio who spends his free time in a small wood with a pond near his home that becomes threatened by development in the post-war building frenzy. While there are other coming-of-age themes (girls! with boobs!) in the novel, the boy learns a lot about monkey-wrenching and how maybe it’s not the best method of protest, and while I can’t always condone monkey-wrenching, there are other, more effective and less controversial methods of channeling the monkey-wrenching impulse into saving our wild places.
This book instilled in me a love of the outdoors and a desire to protect it as well as anything else in my life. I didn’t encounter Abbey’s books until I was an adult, but AHTTH served much the same purpose for me.
“Real-time measurements of water movement taken Wednesday showed a volume of 30 cubic feet per second at the Arkansas 65 bridge. David Mott of the National Park Service said the minimum flow ever recorded for that date was 30 cubic feet per second.” [from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Northwest Edition]
Damn. The Buffalo is one of the best places in Arkansas (and maybe the world) to float, hike, camp, and/or fish for smallmouth bass. If we don’t get some rain soon and in significant quantity, the floating and fishing part of that is really going to suck this Spring and Summer. We are in a serious drought in Arkansas right now.
All of a sudden, I was slammed by a case of Spring Fever yesterday. I’m twitchy (and I mean more than usual) and feeling the need to be either (a) sitting on my patio with a good book and a cold beer or (b) standing in the middle of a rushing Ozark stream, casting a fly for smallmouth bass or (c) just anywhere outside with the sun shining down on the bright fresh green of early spring. Alas, it’s still a few weeks away. We get our first round of thunderstorms tomorrow, though. I’m at least looking forward to that.