It occurred to me on the trail…

…last weekend that the reason progressives are going to cast the fear vote in November (vote for the “lesser of two evils”) is that they are trained to think just in four-year spans or less. And by thinking ahead by only four years at most, they’ve maintained decades of Democrat-Republican office holders taking us to where we are. That is, we’ve had decades of the DRIT (Democrat-Republican Investment Tool) taking turns serving its investors (high-dollar campaign donors). I think progressives need to vote based on candidates’ platforms. Some mislabel this “voting with your heart” instead of your mind. But I think it would be voting with your mind; casting the fear vote is “voting with your heart”. But that labeling is nonsensical party PR to an extent anyway. Voting based on platform would mean progressives vote for Hawkins (or another progressive who is actually running) in November now that the Democrat wing of DRIT spit out Sanders again (i.e., the Democrat wing is knowingly running its weaker, investor-friendly candidate again, just like the last time they spit out Sanders). An effect of progressives voting based on platform could be the collapse of the Democratic wing (“party”). Yes, they’d have another four years of the current Republican presumably, but collapse of the Democratic wing would leave the Republican wing with no un/intentional partner in crime with which to continue more decades of investor rule (return on investment). The Democrat wing is the more insidious of the two; they actually entice progressives with a progressive candidate, withdraw the progressive (DNC tricks just spit out Sanders for the second time in a row), then scare a Democrat vote out of the progressives. We’re seeing it repeated, and even with the same progressive candidate-lure, Sanders. Progressives will cast this fear vote (vote again for the Democrat wing’s weaker candidate), to avoid four years of the darker shade of darkness from the Republican wing (but may fail to again) but maintain decades more of darkness from the DRIT. The Democrats accidentally protected the Republican last time by running their weaker candidate, and they’re protecting him again by running their weaker candidate now. And progressives again go along with this out of fear (instead of switching to a candidate whose platform they agree with/support). The Democrat wing in effect tries (and failed last time) to protect itself with [the fear of] the Republican wing candidate, but ironically instead protects him by running their weaker candidate.

Progressives’ goal in voting right now should be to collapse the Democrat wing (“party”). Progress they want won’t occur until this happens and opens up room for a viable progressive party or candidate. There won’t be a viable progressive party until the Republican wing’s better half (Democrat wing) collapses. This collapse can be initiated by progressives simply voting based on candidate platform rather than on fear. Some darkness (relative to the Democrat lighter shade of darkness) would continue for another four years at least, but progress usually takes sacrifice. Besides, we’ve already had decades of the DRIT tag team serving their donor-investors (the alternating shades of darkness). And decades more of lighter-alternating-with-darker darkness will continue if a short-term darker darkness isn’t tolerated/endured first for another four years. Again, this takes thinking in terms of decades, not in terms of four-year election cycles.

That’s my email signature anyway. I could be wrong.

Anyways, the hike was really nice last weekend. Again, we went to the east side of that mountain in the background:

It was a rainy, warm hike in badger creek wilderness. Birds were singing among the oaks and rocks:

The stream was running background vocals:

We woke to a fog bank sleeping right next to us, floating atop the valley (so, at about 4000 ft.):


My old pack was running on empty despite being full; the shoulder straps gave out, but after a couple of decades of use.


My favorite bike shop was with me in spirit:


I am grateful to my hiking bud for inviting me.

Starting the Season

Well, a hiking buddy invited me on a short weekend backpacking trip. If the trail’s not still snowed in, we’ll get up to about 4500 ft. She is ambitious, so we’ll probably get up there even if there is snow. We will be on the other side of that mountain that’s in the background. I am packed. It’s been so long that the packing process seemed only vaguely familiar. It may actually now be possible to go into coffee shops/cafes on the drive out and back. To me half the point of hiking and riding is food and coffee in unfamiliar towns



To avoid the crowds returning to the trails, I tried bushwhacking a short distance today in a seldom visited area near no trailheads. I hadn’t done this in years. The negotiating and balancing make it surprisingly strenuous compared to on-trail. It makes me understand part of the reason wildlife is made up of such lean creatures.



The sounds are nice too. While the video is nothing special, I like the sounds in it.

Same with this one:


I do kind of miss my bike commute. I don’t recall my bike having cobwebs before. And good lord, those arachnids are ambitious builders. But this recent switch to work-at-home has its advantages. I miss biking daily, but I have almost two extra hours every weekday now. It’s more quiet, slow-paced outdoor time, be it getting more familiar with my yard or walking into woods, which isn’t that far from my neighborhood. And early walks into the woods are so quiet they’re like being in remote parts of the coastal range or cascades. These nearby woods are in hills that are actually an offshoot of the coastal range geologically, but are an urban park in ownership. And now that I don’t go to the worksite daily I also get to see my neighborhood early in the morning, a coffee walk before the agreed-to work hours start. And I do understand I’m fortunate to be working still so far.

For now, to resume biking I’d have to switch to off-road. Get the mountain bike sprockets spinning again. I’ve just no interest riding on pavement. And just urban walking is a welcome change right now.

Short after telework hike

I managed to get a short hike in this afternoon. It was a great opportunity to enjoy the fair weather, but also to see what my new hiking boots are really made of. I did a detour/scramble over a ridge, gaining an additional half inch of elevation approaching the pass, for spectacular views of and access to the east and south grass strips below, which also needed mowing. Today’s mileage, not counting the mower jamming on sticks and requiring backups, was 0.246 miles. It would have been a route of more mileage if the mower blades hadn’t been recently sharpened, as I had to re-cut none of the grass. My total elevation gain out-and-back was 1.0 inches (0.083 feet).

Woods, cars and bikes

Still just looking at backpacking equipment. Checking fuel cans’ weight. Seems I have everything to hike into national forest but permission. It’s odd; we don’t have much resembling authoritarian authority on these restrictions; we probably wouldn’t even be cited for breaking rules. But I’m home until this all “flattens”, as they’re saying. But I’m certainly thinking about the first places here I backpacked after the move. I’ll return there; there’s something sentimental about the places.


And of course this backpacking gear is the same that’s used for moto trips. I’m nicknaming this bike Emptybags. They need filled with simple food — baguette, coffee, oatmeal, nuts. That’s all I need to live on on these trips. And water. The rack will have the tent and sleeping bag. Emptybags for now, national forest for later.

Oil’s Gotta Go, Be Phased Out

A year and a half ago the Saudi Arabian govt. threatened the world with a cut in oil supply if the world didn’t stop criticizing them for killing a journalist. Currently/recently they’ve pumped and dumped oil on markets, intentionally upsetting the industry (employers and employees) in competing countries, even while knowing how severe the effect would be given there’s so little use of/demand for oil compared to just a few months ago. Tankers are now idling at sea with nowhere to offload their oil; land facilities don’t have storage capacity for it with this combination of Saudi pump-and-dump and the current extreme world reduction in oil use. This scenario just couldn’t be duplicated by the solar, wind and hydroelectric energy sectors. And this has lead to the USA govt. bailing out American oil companies; the government has offered to buy their oil and told them they don’t have to actually pump it and make it available (i.e., they don’t have to actually part with it — or even produce it — after they sell it). Again, this situation just couldn’t be duplicated by the solar, wind and hydroelectric energy sectors. Oil’s an expensive problem in terms of production, infrastructure, contamination cleanup, and related health problems. And a proven source of contamination of land, water and air.

There are already electric vehicles in use and they are not expensive. There is already infrastructure in place to keep them charged. There are already electricity production and distribution systems in place; for examples hydroelectric, solar and wind energy being delivered to homes and other buildings through wire.

Trains are already either electric (light rail) or electric-diesel hybrid (freight rail and long-haul passenger). We can engineer the diesel out of the mix.

Airplanes are used for vacations and business travel. Vacations are optional, and if curtailed for environmental reasons it would drive aviation technology away from fossil fuel. The reason for business travel is companies become too big, are not local, and are even harming local small businesses. A more local economy would reduce the need for airline travel.

Cruise lines could already shift away from fossil fuel: aircraft carriers already have, but electric, solar, or hybrid electric-solar seem a better alternative than nuclear.


I am antsier than usual for Spring. It is because I know hiking destinations are closed. I’m pulling out the backpacking gear, moto gear, car camping stuff. It’s not been all bad staying home, actually (and luckily I can work from home during this!). The house is becoming more organized, as is my camping gear.

But I’m also thinking about how nice it will be to spend more time outdoors. A couple of winter buys; an inflatable pillow, a sleeping bag liner, but the same old pack.