Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Eating Right

So I went to the doctor a while ago ... who claimed I was pre-diabetic (fasting sugar > 100, me @103). ... and so on ... till Dr. Lorenzato recommended the Paleo diet. Let's review the Paleo diet ... cave-man food, fruits nuts, berries, the occasional cat, meat and fish, and wild meat or fish if you can get it, yeta, yeta, yeta, and no grains agricultural products. It's a grain free diet -- with little or no veggies.

"That's kinda radical," claims one of my friends, "you'll starve." My fitness guru was surprised, "You have a doctor recommending the Paleo diet? Where did you find him?" He's the son of one of my early mentors, and I accidentally picked him out of the phone book. Blah, blah, blah. I claim.

I love food. Since I stopped smoking and started to exercise, I eat. So much so, so aggressively, that some people hint that I might have a tapeworm. I'm typically famished. And people saying things like, "I had to stop and eat on the way so I could order some thing good, rather than the largest thing on the menu" do not surprise, nor do statements like, "That looks like it's about what you normally eat, maybe you should put more in there so the rest of us can eat." I would usually rather eat. Everything is better with butter.

I went to visit my friend, let's call her Rose, who was on a meat only diet. Sort of Paleo gone arctic. Atkins with a "NO." Yeah -- meat. The good, the bad, and the ugly. She looks healthier than I have ever known. Go meat.

So I have pushing my diet towards meat, ever inspired by this quote from Left for Dead by Beck Weathers, and by my cave-man friends:
"... Two interesting things happened the next day. A wolf ran out on the trail.
One of the Dani (New Guinea Tribesman) whipped out his bow. ... and dropped the
wolf in mid-stride....Then he and the rest of them fell on the animal and ate it
raw. ... They wolfed him down."
"They wolfed him down." That's how I want to eat. It's how I do eat. It's pretty hard though. Order a chicken salad and it's filled with shitty white bread croutons, sugary dressing. Eat sushi and it plonked down on rice. It's a wide spread conspiracy to pack your body with cheap ugly calories, pasta. As Julia Childs' said, "It's starch." Intended to fill you up.

Despite all the failings, my failings, it's working, the Paleo diet. I am at 154 lbs and holding. My joints don't hurt. I feel good.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Weekend in Paradise

It was a promising weekend. Two days and two nights camping in Yosemite, with a potential for snow in the valley. My friend and I both have new tents, so here was a chance to test them out, and test our mettle a bit. It was probably going to be freezing or below on both nights.

Sunday Skiing. 6 miles total, out to the Bridalveil Campgrond on Glacier Point Road for about 6 miles total. In the afternoon it snowed enough to get us a little wet and slow down our skis.

Monday we went for a hike out to the Snow Creek trailhead and back from HappyIsles, for what I think is about a 6 mile trip. It rained continously on Monday, including all the time of the hike and all the time spent pack and all the time traveling home.

Drying out my gear in the living room. I burned a crapload of calories this weekend, and I am still hungry.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Zen of Being Me.

Virgin River Cattails
It's almost 5 years since I went on this trip to the Colorado river. To mee t various wilderness gods and find out more than a few things about myself. I remember people laughing and telling river stories and talking about this and that, and how the "groover" -- riverspeak for the toilet (an ammo can really, with a toilet seat on top of it) -- always was set up in a place with a great view. Why is it called "groover," someone asks. "Imagine what it would be like if it didn't have a seat; That's the way it used to be," was the response. ... Yeah, imagine that. The stories ... finding sand years later in your gear.

Returning to Flagstaff after the trip I called Jeff Foott on the phone in his room at the Radisson, "I'm on the groover," him; "How's the view," me, repeating the mantra of twelve days on the river. The hotel room after unpacking was an adventure in sand, I unpacked, sand ... the fine pink and brown sand of the Colorado ... spread throughout the room. I moved my gear to my truck, which now had sand. Sand. I went home. Sand everywhere. Invasive; vacuum, clean, more sand.

I just opened a lens filter case in preparation for this weekend's trip to Yosemite and felt that fine sharp texture ... the fine sand of the Colorado. I thought of all the friends I made there.

Tomorrow, Andrew and I will head into what is predicted to be a storm in Yosemite, probably unlike this storm that Jim Fitzgerald and I drove into last year, but this week promises ten feet of snow in the higher elevations, and rain in the valley. Oddly enough, Jim will be there in Camp 4 when we arrive. Andrew and I will hopefully ski, or snowshoe out to Dewey Point. Me, sandy photo gear, cat crap on my glasses, pink sunglasses, and a camera. The joy never ends. Zen.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

There's Just No Story ...

really ... Conan O'Brien won't give up the Tonight Show, the surfers don't want to start the Mavericks because it's raining, despite a 20 ft NW swell. If you're wondering, that means it's clench time over at Mavericks, with triple-overheads. Tonight, it's raining in earnest here, and it's keeping me awake. I want to watch the news and see if this apartment falls into the sea. It means a serious snowfall in the Sierras.

I have lived here most of my life, and every year the pundits claim drought ... and time and again the Pacific storm track has proven that it can make up for a a year's deficit in a very short period of time, especially when it's what the call an "El Nino" year. Although the weather gurus are predicting 10-18 inches from this storm, I am just saying it now -- it's could snow a shitload.

I am packing my gear for the weekend.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

... Simile

…(Simile)Images of Manhattan from October 2004Shawn Kielty

Copyright 2004, Shawn Kielty, all rights reserved.

Journal entry, October 8 2004 NYC:Did you happen to run up to me on this corner while I was shooting this photo to talk about my camera and photography? I met an attractive woman (a fitness instructor, perhaps) while shooting this picture, and I keep thinking that I should have introduced myself or found some way to stay in contact because – it was a charged conversation about cameras and photography and being an artist in life, about how we have to resort to things like being a fitness instructor or software engineer despite both having fairly accomplished degrees in fine art. It was excellent to talk with someone who was really interested in the same thing that I am. It’s fascinating to me that this small event would somehow define my recent visit to Manhattan.

Originally from the suburbs of San Francisco, award winning Artist Shawn Kielty currently lives in Mesa, AZ. Early in his career Shawn was primarily a Painter and trained at the San Francisco Art Institute, California State University, Hayward and eventually received a MFA degree at Washington State University.

“My first cameras, were the collection of family cameras, a brownie, an original PolaroidTM, and a pocket camera. And then there was the plastic Diana, a cheap camera with a plastic lens that I won at the county fair. From the earliest of large format experiences, shot in an oatmeal box camera, to my current exploration of the 4x5 format, the camera has always been a part of my art experiences. It seems today to be a foregone conclusion that I would focus my attention on photography.“

Shawn has been included in more than 50 national and regional exhibitions, lectured and taught fine art during his career.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

We the People ...

Reposted from 1, 8, 10 and 11 July 2008 regarding a backpacking trip in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness in Southern Oregon.

1 July 2008

In a few days I'll be going back to the Charcoal Cathedral. On this trip I may actually miss the Biscuit Fire. I don't know because this is new. Everytime I have been to the Kalmiopsis wilderness, I have seen the result of the Biscuit Fire. I'll be going in to the Illinois river at Pine Flat. It's a fair piece upstream from my last trip. 4 days, 1 old river, 2 old friends, 2 old dogs.

8 July 2008

Day one included a two and a half hour drive from Grants Pass, OR to the Illinois River Trailhead at Briggs Creek near Miami Bar on the Illinois River, and a forty-five minute hike to Panther Creek, where we eeked out a rocky camp. Let's all keep in mind that we are still in the charcoal cathedral.

The camp at Panther Creek, just outside of the Kalmiopsis wilderness.
Next, York Creek Botanical Area, and the trail to the Illinois River near Pine Flat.

10 July 2008

That sign used to say "Entering the Kalmiopsis Wilderness" or something like that. It was torched during the Biscuit Fire.

The Illinois River.

A carnivorous Pitcher Plant in the York Creek Conservation Area

Ummm ... What is this Yellow Flower? Also in York Creek. Michael Parker of Southern Oregon University has helped me to identify this flower as a California coneflower, Rudbechia californica. Thanks Michael.

Jim shooting a picture

11 July 2008

... spent a couple of days in camp along the Illinois river at Pine Flat. Out in the open grassy flat we found the carcass of a bottle rocket that looked recently used. Fear and anger rise. Fear of being trapped by a fire, and anger that someone would take such a high risk over something so foolish. How could anyone be in this charred wilderness and actually consider using fireworks. To any one that would actually think of doing such an insane thing let me say this: Please don't go into the wilderness to shoot off fireworks, please continue to do that only inside your own house, so the damage will be restricted (hopefully) to only your stuff.

I saw a turkey, and a red fox. The red fox made an cranky, angry, loud, scary, run off your enemies, frightful sound. I have never heard a noise like that except maybe the time I heard the racoon lovemaking -- which is ummm ... really noisy. Anyway -- the fox came by the camp during the night to make that same noise while we were sleeping, or so I heard later.

This is Jim wearing the Albert Einstien hat with grass stuffed underneath it to keep the mosquitoes from drilling through the bandana into his head. I'm an advocate of the Albert Einstien hat, which is a bandana with a knot tied in each of the four corners. Any sculptor or physicist will immediate understand how this turns a flat rag into a bowl shaped hat.

The Sierra Designs Light Year in camp.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Last night I registered a new domain name. I'm not completely sure what I am going to do with it, but I'll think of something.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Your Script ...

Caution: This might get a bit geeky -- but, I still hack a bit to pay for all of this.

Today, I wrote a very short tcl script that executed a mysql query from the command line in a unix shell, spitting back the results less than gracefully. In short it was a quicky hack to provide some functionality, i.e. visibility into a database.

It started like this:

#!/bin/sh \
exec /usr/bin/tclsh "$0" ${1+"$@"}
# end of excerpt

"What is this (regarding these two lines) and ... what's it for?" asks one of my coworkers. I hadn't really thought about it for several years. "It gets around a 32 character magic line length limitation for long path names ... blah, blah, blah. It's habit," I say, "dressed up as good practice." spitting back stuff I was taught by this guy. I went and lookeditup. The truth is ... I have written programs in tcl on various flavors of unix, including SCO and 4.xBSD and HPUX 9.x (these are all pretty archaic systems at this point) and worked in a place with 20 flavors of tcl spread all over a huge system. This was the best way to do it. Now, most of these systems are located in back dusty rooms, running archaic legacy systems, and probably won't be running any of my scripts ... but my scripts will still be up to it.

Solstice with Wolves

Awesome post by Jill Homer.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Hidden Villa

"Hidden Villa is a nonprofit educational organization that uses its organic farm, wilderness, and community to teach and provide opportunities to learn about the environment and social justice. Hidden Villa stretches over 1600 acres of open space in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, about 40 miles south of San Francisco. Our mission is to inspire a just and sustainable future through our programs, land and legacy." (From the Hidden Valley website)

The mother of my children tells me that she's been buying organic pork and lamb there.

Look Better Almost Naked Challenge.

My friend Saul -- Challenging us to eat better.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A License to Eat

Robert and the North face Mountain 25.

The South Rim.

Chile at the Ahwanee.

The fireplace in the great room at the Ahwahnee Hotel.

Robert and Campfire at Camp 4, January 3, 2010.

North Rim of Yosemite Valley in the Blue Moonlight

Moonlight Sot to Rival Dave Kohr's.


Skiing is interesting at least. It is work, real work, even as it gets easier. Cross country sking requires the body to do a bunch of unusual movements. Although we can't really ski very hard, I can see active skiing burning a thousand calories an hour.

I went to Yosemite (again?) this weekend. I've sorta decided to try to do something more formal with the photos I've take, or at least try to apply myself to taking them a bit more seriously. Anyway -- we drove up Saturday morning, taking the Mountain Tent on it's maiden voyage, made camp, and had a bowl of Chili at the Ahwanee.

We had a campfire, and I shot photos of the blue moon, to see if I could rival Dave Kohr's. I also shot phots of the moon lit North wall of the valley above Camp 4 while we stood around the fire.

The tent performed admirably. It was a bit wet ... after spending the night below freezing at Camp 4. The trade offs to keep the tent warm were to seal up the top and have it be a bit more drippy inside from the condensation. Mostly, my nose was cold. I finally put the neck gaiter over it ...

In the morning it was icy on the outside of the tent, we opted for coffee with breakfast over at the Yosemite Lodge, a decision I always regret. The food is kinda sucky, but the place was warm anyway. Then we went up to Badger Pass for a ski. We skied out the Glacier Point road for about two miles and back. We struggled with the wax for Robert's skis, slippy skis, slippy snow, sticky klister, sticky snow, I didn't have the exact wax for mixed corn snow with glisteny crap, alternating repeatedly. Welcome to California. Just a short side note ... Saul, those skis rock!! I had no problems.

The ravens followed us up the trail, looking to see if we dropped anything, any food, anything shiny. Maybe they remembered me from two weeks ago when I think I might have dropped some turkey jerkey. I keep waiting to see if they will lead me to some game. I've heard that ravens can tell when men are hunting, and pay more attention to them. It's all about the food for those ravens, it's like they have a license to eat. It's all about the food for me too.

Once back -- we broke camp and headed for food. We ate, a couple of times, and I'm stil hungry, I think I'll be extra hungry tomorrow too. Skiing is like ... a license to eat.

Friday, January 1, 2010

This is Disturbing ...

This is pretty disgusting, and seems to me to be cause for real alarm.

"The company says its processed beef, a mashlike substance frozen into blocks or chips, is used in a majority of the hamburger sold nationwide. But it has remained little known outside industry and government circles. Federal officials agreed to the company’s request that the ammonia be classified as a “processing agent” and not an ingredient that would be listed on labels."