Monday, October 05, 2015

Plan A. No Plan B. No Plan C. ...

Zebulon, NC

I got up early to check weather before departing.  

Our Plan A was to head for the Blue Ridge Parkway and to camp out.   I found that much of the parkway is closed.

Plan B was to skip the rain drenched Carolinas and head for Georgia or Florida on I95.   I found that I95 is closed for 70 miles in SC.

Plan C, I'm working on right now.  We will drive to the Asheville, NC area.   We hear that Asheville is very nice and the far western part of the state was affected less.  Don't know where we'll stay the night.  I'm checking Asheville advisories now.


Sunday, October 04, 2015

OMG, The Beauty

Zebulon, NC

Tomorrow we leave Zebulon and head for the Blue Ridge Parkway.    We will be camping and heading south.   Probably reach the JAX area by Friday or Saturday.

Meanwhile, I want to share one of the most beautiful pictures ever (no is is not a woman).  I don't have rights to post it here directly.  Click on this link to see it.

You can read about it here.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Blub Blub

Zebulon, NC

Boy what a wet month.  It has rained almost every day since leaving Vermont two weeks ago.

That hasn't slowed Libby down from working in Dave & Cathy's garden.  She been out there every day in the rain working.   When Dave saw some of the things she did, he said, "Awesome.."  I think Libby learned a lot from Jen.

But other activities have been curtailed.   Libby and I planned to leave here and head south with out camping gear this weekend.  But I posted before about tent camping in the rain.  The forecast around here for the next few days calls for 2-10 inches of rain.  Too wet.

I also hoped to go on a canoe excursion with Dave.  I thought a two day trip with overnight camping would be great.  But that too had to be cut back.  I almost cut it to zero because of rain, but then I thought of what we had to learn when we lived in Sweden -- you just have to learn to go outside and have fun anyhow, even in the rain.

So our compromise was a day trip on the Neuse River done hurriedly before the hurricane arrives (since then they say the hurricane won't hit here).

Using Google, I found an excellent launch ramp and a rural stretch of the river.   It was between Goldsboro and Smithfield, NC.   I was worried about low water and impassible stretches, but the rain gave us deeper waters and swift currents.  (Next week after up to 10 inches of rain, it could be flooding.)

Anyhow, it was fun.   We went upstream about 5 miles.   We found an island in the river where we could stop for lunch.   Stopping points on the river are few because of steep river banks.  Libby and I had the same problem on the Conneticut River.   Dave got checked on TJ's canoe transport and operation.  We plan to leave TJ with Dave over the winter so I really hope he gets to use it.  Cathy too likes canoeing.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Excederin Headache #79

Zebulon, NC

I came across this scene today and took the pictures below.  It happened on the I95 overpass in Smithfield, NC.  

In the picture, you can see the driver letting the air out of the tires.
The boat was not damaged so the driver must have stopped in time. But if the driver was that alert,  I can't help wonder what he was doing out there in the first place.  The minimum clearances on I95 must be published someplace.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Other Guy's Side

Zebulon, NC

The debate over abortion has continued for many decades following Roe V Wade.  I consider myself lucky to be ambivalent on the issue and thus able to view the dispute from above.  I see the validity of the views of both sides.  It all rests on a single fact; a fetus is or is not a human being.  There is very little room for a middle ground compromise on that question.   You are either yes or no.  There can never be reconciliation between groups divided on that question.

Yesterday, after listening to the  Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast for the 80th time, I had an epiphany (i.e. epiphany. a smart-sounding word for realizing you've been practically retarded for quite some time). I realized that pro and anti government views are almost exactly analogous to the abortion issue.  The key question is: do you consider the government as our ally and trust it to act in our interests, or do you believe government to be our enemy and unworthy of trust?  I never saw that clearly before because I'm not ambivalent on that issue. I am deeply immersed the anti-government side.

The trigger to my change of heart came from listening to the "shop talk" of Stewart Baker and his partners on the podcast.  They sound very well informed, sincere, rational, and skilled at predicting the future.  Their views are one-sided but not rabid. Yet I find almost everything they say and do to be offensive.  I once referred to Baker as The Great Satan.  Why? Because I see government insiders as a bigger threat than the bad guys.   Their anti-bad-guy tactics carry anti-liberty baggage.  

I'm probably even guilty of false thinking in my zeal to oppose them.  I'm willing to fall for the trap of thinking the enemy of my enemy is my friend.   But wait! That's not true.  There really are terrorists, foreign governments and regular crooks out to harm me.  They aren't my friends.  I do want protection from bad guys, but I also feel oppressed by my protectors.

I believe that the pro-goverment side is also guilty of false thinking in their excesses of zeal and loyalty.  They think that even when they're wrong they're right because of good intentions. They think government should be trusted because they trust themselves.  They think that people who don't trust them are lunatics. Misdeeds are explained as "bad apples" that should be weeded out if only someone (not me) blows the whistle on them.   They never acknowledge how serious the injuries they cause to liberty are.  They believe that parties injured by government deserve what they get. They never admit that governmental bad behavior is systemic to the extent that some sectors do more harm than good.

The perfect poster boy for both sides is Edward Snowden.  He is either a true American hero, or a heinous criminal.   Very few people are ambivalent on Snowden.

So, am I a member of a lunatic minority?  Not at all. according to the latest Gallup Poll, 49% of Americans think as I do.  But also according to Gallup, a substantial body of Americans are more concerned with other bad guys are thus willing to give government a free pass to do whatever it takes.   Gallup Poll citations to support both views are below.

So, what is the bottom line?  What should we do about it?  I think that the two views can never be reconciled.  We must live with the split until the pendulum of public opinion swings strongly one way or the other.  In the recent past, and for the forseeable future, the pendulum is stuck at close to 50-50.