27 April 2015

An Aborted Hike is Nevertheless Insightful and Enjoyable

A picture I took on campus during my walk. Nice, eh?
I only managed two lousy hours out of the house. Had run seven miles yesterday and slept poorly so was not up to my ambitious plans. Those included a hike up a hill behind the Cal campus that would have afforded a beautiful view of the San Francisco Bay. Instead I made it a third of the way through campus and veered off towards Telegraph Avenue.

I love walking through the campus. It’s beautiful. The eucalyptus grove alone is worth the walk. Strawberry Creek runs through it. Pretty young women ogle me (it is most certainly not the other way around) and I am, for the most part, among people pursuing greater knowledge and understanding of the world they live in whether through the study of its history, geology, computers, wheels of finance or languages. It is an area rife with future movers, shakers, thinkers, writers, speakers and informed citizens.

A stroll through the university is also nostalgic for me. It recalls visits to sports events — particularly football games — classes taken and seminars attended, drunken escapades and of course demonstrations. I’ll never forget the sight of large pot bellied cops in bright blue uniforms “hiding” behind small shrubs as I made my way (cutting high school classes) to anti war demonstrations in ’69 and ’70. Nor will I ever forget running along the creek half blind from a blast of tear gas. Forever a radical.

In Sproul Plaza there was a co-ed giving a tour,  probably to some of next year’s freshman class. I heard her say: “it’s a beautiful day, it feels like its gonna be hot, I like that.” And then she added cheerily, “no more rain!” Yes who would want rain in the middle of the worst drought in the state’s history? How did such a clueless idiot get into the university, let alone earn the right to give tours?

It is the accepted narrative. Everyone loves warm sunny days. Some people love them so much that they complain constantly about wet weather no matter how much it is needed. I used to say that if they didn’t like rain they ought to move to the desert, but it doesn’t seem they’ll have to. California is on the verge of turning into one.

I mentioned to a couple of people that some scientists believe that we could be at the beginning of 100 year long drought. Both times the response was the same: they won’t be around in 100 years. Hardy had had. Morons. That’s when the drought might end. The very very negative effects of the drought have already begun and will be getting worse in the next few years. In ten years? You don’t wanna know. In 20? Forget about it.

I’ve made much of the fact that I prefer clouds and cold and rain and mist and drizzle and fog and occasional wind. It’s more interesting. Hell to me is day after day of blue skies. In other words much of the last Winter was hell. Oh I don’t mind the occasional sunny day for variety’s sake, in fact one appreciates the sun when seeing less of it. Spend some time in England and note how happy the citizenry get on those rare days when the sun makes an appearance.

But I digress….

From Sproul I made the inevitable — for me — trip down Telegraph Avenue and a stop at one of my favorite places on the planet, Moe’s Bookstore. Any minute spent browsing there is a minute well spent. There are few greater joys for me than perusing the various aisles on the various floors. None is more enjoyed than the fiction section. It should not be a surprise that I made a purchase — Babylon Revisited a collection of short stories by one F Scott Fitzgerald. Amazing that I did not already own a copy.

From there I ambled on home and plunked myself down with my good friend the MacBook Pro to check on the latest doings in the world. You can see for yourself, the usual nonsense here and everywhere else.

As for me I think a nap may be in order.

(And know its time for a brief aside. Imagine you've got a broken leg and are in a cast. How many people would come up to you and say things like this: you don't need that cast, your leg's probably not broken at all, doctors are just trying to make money off you -or- I've had plenty of leg injuries and pains in my legs that doesn't mean its broken, take off that cast use some herbal medicine and you'll be fine -or- you really sure its broken, I mean come on, legs don't break its all in your leg -or- first you're different because you need to put a cast on your leg the next thing you think you can drink again. No of course no one ever says anything so idiotic when you have a physical injury. But when your wounds are mental or emotional you get exactly this kind of crap. People dispute medical advice, think you're not really suffering or assume they know "exactly" what you're going through. My advice to people suffering mental anguish is to be pretty damn selective who you share it with. It's not that people will use it against you, its just that they'll often manage to compound your woes with their well meaning but ill informed prattle.)

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