Monday, September 7, 2015

Mt. Neva / Jasper Long Loop Trip Report - 9.4.15

Fourth of July Trailhead > Arapahoe Pass > Quarter to Five Peak > Dorothy Lake > Mt. Neva (North Ridge) > Mt. Jasper > Jasper Lake > Diamond Lake > Trailhead

Photos are on my Facebook trip report here. 

Google Earth route recreation below. I consider this rough, since I recreated the waypoints after the fact. But I took the time to follow trails and ridge lines I know I travelled, so it's not far off. One friend plugged in my data and Google Earth spit out 5,949 feet of gain, while mine got 5,455 ft. Not sure which one is closer to the truth. GPS also estimated 15.4 miles, but with all the route finding, I figure that's a bit conservative.

These are just for fun. What my iPhone split out comparing last week's Chicago Basin (San Juans) hikes and Torreys / Grays Peak climbs (14ers) vs. the distance and elevation gain on this IPW day. I don't completely trust the accelerometer in my iPhone, but it does give a good sense of relative effort on Sep 4th vs. two other hikes/climbs last week:

Early morning drive up past Nederland and Eldora to the Fourth of July trailhead. Only 2 hours of sleep after discovering late the night before that my AC unit has been leaking water in my basement for possibly 2 weeks or more. I digress...

6:13am - Trailhead 
~6:40am - Reached the Fourth of July Mine relics
7:17am - Sunrise hit my back while on the Arapahoe Pass Trail.
7:23am - Reached Arapahoe Pass, turned right to scramble Quarter to Five Peak instead of left to Lake Dorothy and Mt. Neva's North Ridge.
8:15am - Climbed to the top of Quarter to Five Peak, exploring past the summit just a bit before turning around. ~12,300 ft.
8:40 - Back to the top of Arapahoe Pass junction and continued on to Lake Dorothy. Still haven't seen a soul, tuned my phone to Band of Horses since there was no one else's wilderness experience to ruin with my tunes. Feeling grateful for the solitude.
9am - Depart Lake Dorothy with iodine dissolving on my hydration bladder I topped off, even though it wasn't near empty. Started climbing up the Mt. Neva North Ridge, class 4, really fun stuff, and a short low class 5 wall with great exposure. That's when I started thinking about my solitude again. Tons of great features though, not a problem.
10am - emerged back on top of the Neva North Ridge line after prematurely dropping west to get around a deep notch just after the crux wall.  By the time I felt committed to stay west I also realized I was probably off the best route, which must have gone around the notch to the east side of the ridge. Probably scarier exposure and loose rock on the west side at that point. If I fell on the west side of the ridge nobody will be down that steep ravine to the west, whereas traversing east of the ridge at least puts you in the view of anybody that may come up Arapahoe Pass and Lake Dorothy. Navigated it safely, but was glad to be back on the top of the ridge with it's beautiful view. Right when I got back to the spine of the ridge I saw I got there just in time to drop west again to a rough trail that I was clearly supposed to take. So I dropped west again, this time much easier, low class 3 stuff until quickly back up top within view of the real summit. 

Listening to Covenhoven's very apropos lyrics from "Young at Heart" on my phone (my friend Joel Van Horne): "I've been abandoning safe bets for fleeting highs....lost is my own kind of found, and silence my favorite sound..."

10:15am - Neva Summit at 10:15. 12,821 feet. Later than I planned. Signed the summit register in a duct-tape wrapped mason jar. Started a clif bar. The sky is overcast now, but no gnarly looking systems on the horizon.  Down the saddle quickly and on to Mt. Jasper. 

11:26am - Mt. Jasper, summit. 12,923 feet (Google Earth GPS elevation profile I uploaded is approximate, so showing the wrong max elevation)

From there, I continued down from the summit along the south ridge, away from Mt. Neva. Reviewing Topo and Google earth images I saved on my phone. Snow levels and lake levels are a bit different. I opted for the longer route south to Diamond Lake vs. back to the Arapahoe Pass Trail. 

1:13 pm - I used a weak cell signal to pull up Google maps and immediately realized I've been following the sounds of Jasper Creek, not the North Fork of Middle Boulder Creek, or one of the others in the canyons that split down from Mt. Jasper's snow melt. Because this canyon was off my topo maps I brought (and cell reception wasn't strong enough for a better live map from Google or another site), I was worried that it led somewhere that won't link up to Diamond Lake and ultimately the Fourth of July trailhead again, so I stay in one place and look up the USFS Boulder district ranger phone number I emailed Jaime with my itinerary for the day. Had a nice short chat in the phone confirming Jasper Creek and Jasper Lake below me do indeed link up to Diamond Lake and the Fourth of July trailhead. I figured, but it was reassuring to hear. It'll be a longer day now. How much longer I didn't ask. I committed to the longer loop, chalking it up to a more unique Neva/Jasper loop that I imagine far fewer people will be able to say they've done. I have iodine tablets for water and in a worst case scenario, I even have a puffy jacket compressed in my pack, first aid kit and my headlamp I started the day with, though I know it won't come even close to needing those. Ready for anything, but at least I now know for sure where I am and heading down to Jasper Lake instead of backtracking all the way back up Mt. Jasper summit to take a different way off the mountain.

In hindsight, I realize that I slightly misread the topo and satellite images I had stored on my phone when deciding where to drop down off Mt. Jasper. I chalked it up to the varying late season snow conditions and lake levels you can see from up there, always casting a sliver of doubt on what exactly you're looking at. That's an unacceptable excuse, and now I know better. Hindsight is 20/20. Next time I'm up there, I'll have irreplaceable benefit of personal experience to guide decision making. There are about three different ridge lines and therefor four canyons you can drop into. This time I erred one canyon too far south when I dropped down, since I wanted the longer loop to Diamond Lake. What I didn't realize until I was halfway down Jasper Creek was that I was signing up for an even longer loop than that.

Safe route finding along the north side of Jasper Creek proved annoying at times. Nothing even remotely resembling a trail, which can normally be fun, but large elevation drops meant I had to pick my lines carefully. Continued bushwhacking it and losing elevation over an hour toward Jasper Jake, which I can see below me in he distance. (Fun fact: Jasper Lake is also a reservoir, with water rights owned by Caribou Ranch, so water levels are syphoned off at strategic times of the year. At this time, it looked low with an uglier, muddy shoreline compared to the other natural little alpine lakes that dotted my day so far.)

1:23pm - Approaching Jasper Lake, I reach the first rough trail (looks more like a goat trail over trampled grass) I've seen since just before the Neva summit. Been navigating cross country for a while. I pass what looked liked a pretty well-used rebel fire pit at a backcountry campsite above the lake off the goat trail (I don't think fires are allowed up there).

On the east end of Jasper Lake I see the first people I've seen all day. They point me in the direction of the trail to Diamond Lake, where they just came from. They ask where I was coming from and seemed surprised at the answer.

Felt like a long hike/jog back to Diamond Lake, mostly because I knew my dog was waiting patiently for me at home and I was supposed to meet the HVAC technician at my house around 4pm. It's days like this when I wish I had a doggy door to the backyard. Feet started feeling the burn in my lightweight Scarpa Crux approach shoes, with which I'm otherwise happy. This is only the third time I've taking them out. Eventually I get to familiar Diamond Lake sometime after 3pm (I've been there 3-4 times before on short day hikes since moving to the Boulder area in 2007). Didn't check the time and plowed right by it, but snapped a picture.

It started raining good at 3:15pm. I recognized a dog that was approaching on the trail as "Dutch", my co-worker Grant's Dutch Shepard, on their way to Diamond Lake that afternoon. Chatted quickly with Grant and his friend on the trail, but had to keep moving.

3:49pm - Sipped the last drop of brown iodine-stained Lake Dorothy water from my hydration pack, but I've been on this trail many times and knew exactly how far away I was from my car. Reached my car (and Gatorade/water) at the Fourth of July trailhead at 3:55pm. 

All in all, a great day, in part because it was a great learning and navigational experience and put a lot of varying alpine experience to use. Ironically, including the decision to not glissade down a particularly steep couloir on the other side of the ridge where I dropped down from Mt. Jasper. Although I feel good about that decision, that side of the ridge would have eventually led me back to Diamond Lake without the Jasper Lake detour (assuming I endured all the self-arresting that grade of snow would have required).

I'm glad I have this long loop under my belt, but next time, I'm looking forward to a simpler, faster Neva North Ridge climb, and a glissade down one of the Neva/Jasper saddle couloirs to an old airplane wreck, then quickly bushwhack back to the Arapahoe Pass Trail and back to Fourth of July. No getting sidetracked, just the quick highlights in what will then be much more familiar terrain. 

Gotta love the IPW.

Friday, February 14, 2014

In fairness, a response. And an invitation for pizza.

Required reading to understand this post: a blog post here, I read after my lovely cousin posted it on Facebook. I love her dearly and I'm glad I got to read this. I thought I'd write down my thoughts in the form of an open response. These days I just email myself my thoughts, but in the spirit of awakening this dormant blog - what the heck - I'll share these ramblings publicly this time.

In the authors article, he gently slams the religious culture he describes as "religious certainty. A sense of surety that I know all about God."

The undertone of the article is that all, or at least most practicing Christians (and maybe even all religious people) subscribe to that culture. Here's the thing I can't reconcile: As a card-carrying church-goer myself, I don't know anyone, of any religion, that feels so confident in their understanding of God. I certainly don't. I can imagine that if I did, I'd be pretty arrogant and also highly at risk of a huge landslide life crisis if I ever, heaven forbid, heard a logical argument that countered my "religious certainty" of "having all the answers." Yet, he paints a picture of Christians as people who walk around with a fake sense of "religious certainty," "having all the answers." The entire premise of his article is based on a bizarre caricature that anyone who would have been glued to my side for any significant portion of the last 30 years would know is simply unfair. Subsequently, his attempt to illustrate the contrast between his supposed Christian upbringing and his current freedom of mind and spirit is only applicable to his own unfortunate prior circumstances. Not broadly applicable, and not an accurate label of Christians I know.

Yes, I know there are many who read his article and think "Wow! he's really articulating my experience and thoughts. I can really relate to this." I know and love many of these people. I hope they are open to the possibly that the author's funhouse mirror reflection if Christianity isn't an accurate biopsy of millions of happy and critically thinking Christians. I'll explain where I (and millions I just mentioned) are coming from:

I've never heard the phrase "religious certainty" or even the notion that we/I/anyone knows "all about God" at my church attendance over 31 years and across four time zones. Because to preach that or believe it would be foolish. On the contrary, I hear the opposite sermon at church. One of uncertainty, trials, confusion, the need for charity (to give and received peer support) and the journey of faith. 

Perhaps this "religious certainty" exists out there in arrogant, close-minded-conservative-Christian-land, but I've never seen it myself, certainly not in my church. The bottom line is, it's an inaccurate caricature to oversimplify an entire religious category (let alone all religious people) as dim-witted, close-minded brainwashees that are too fearful to embrace the larger truth: that there's a lot we don't know.

Well, here I am, openly acknowledging, as I have many times before this article was written: there's a whole lot I don't know. Just like everyone else, I don't even know what I don't know. I'm surrounded by mind boggling mystery. And I love that. This acknowledgment doesn't contradict my religious faith. Anyone who thinks it does knows nothing of my faith. Perhaps they have mis-caricatured all of us in a subconscious effort to simplify their judgements and rationalize their new ethos. I happen to like the author's new ethos. It doesn't need an enemy to be true. His yin is not proved undeniably awesome only by fabricating a universal yang in Christian culture. 

As I continued to read the entire article, I realized that although I identify as a Christian, I cannot identify with any of the teachings the author was burdened with before he gave up his supposedly Christian religion. Although I am a Christian, my religion couldn't be further from whatever religion he was brought up in. On the contrary, as I read his article I found my religion to actually be very compatible, and even totally in line with his new, more enlightened, less-burdened mentality he's found sans his childhood theology. Take his #4 point, for example (read that before reading on if you haven't already). Of course if you can't figure out why something is wrong, then whatever religious "wrong" you're being taught is not going to fly for a critically thinking adult. Yet here I am, a critically thinking, church-going adult. Could it be that his current philosophy actually doesn't contradict my religion? In fact, could it be that his new-found religionless philosophy is actually - gasp - a doctrine of my Christian religion? Fancy that. He had to give up his childhood religion to get that particular point of #4, while here I am, agreeing whole heartedly with him and discussing that principle with friends at church on Sunday. Everyone has their own path. Happy for you! 

Several of his recollections of his unfortunate Christian education  start with "I was taught that..." or "I grew up learning..." or "In my youth..." He was obviously taught a dumbed down, somewhat skewed, steeped in cultural tradition version of what "Christianity" supposedly is. In some instances, I was too. Here's the difference: What I know now, as an adult, is that I had to figure out the real, adult version of my faith. That kid version wouldn't/couldn't sustain me through the questions, challenges and free-agency of adulthood. It's not supposed to. I believe it's simply supposed to carry us to the edge of the woods where we are dropped off, having been taught a bunch of fundamentals, and we need to figure out how to actually survive. If you're lucky and you do it right, you don't just learn to live with those childhood fundamentals, you learn a lot more to augment and clarify them, and you do more than survive - you thrive. The religion I practice puts a great individual, personal responsibility on us to seek God ourselves, as adults. Not rest on the laurels of Sunday school teachers we had when we were 7, or 12, or even 17. 

A theory. To be offended that you weren't handed the God-given faith of an adult without putting in the man hours of faithful testing is to not understand what it takes to be a Christian adult. Nobody could or should rest alone on the Christianity they were taught as a kid. Especially if it was some sad version the author seems to have been taught. What they may not want to admit is that it takes more than just doubting, uncertainty and walking away. It takes investment and testing to learn how to believe as an adult. I'm still working on it myself. We call it "enduring to the end" sometimes, but it's not as uncomfortable as is sounds.

I'm not done reading, but so far, I just feel bad that this guy was subjected to such an unfortunate interpretation of Christianity as he grew up. That's all he knew, and it's a shame if he thinks whatever his bubble used to be is what all other Christians are also being taught. It certainly isn't. No wonder I, a Christian, sometimes identify more with my Jewish and morally courageous agnostic friends than some defensive, narrow-minded "Christians." 

Okay, I finished reading his post. As I nodded along to his seventh and final point, it sealed it up and tied a bow on top: My religion sounds way more like his newer non-religion and almost nothing like the supposed religion he left behind. Just goes to show that there's truth everywhere. But it also goes to show that there's stark fallacy in his underlying assumption that you have to leave religion to find those truths in life.

What's left? In conclusion, I am bummed that people think Christianity is as he described it. It's not the version I know. As a result of my faith, I have what he has, but so much more. That doesn't make me better, just stupid lucky, I guess. If you'd ever like to learn more about why I'm so happy in my church - even with some unashamed uncertainty on some topics - I'd love to have you to dinner. I'm glad to just answer any questions you have - I don't want to impose anything on you. Open invite to those that are sincerely curious and respectful. And I make a good pizza. As much as I love pizza leftovers, it's more satisfying to know more of it was enjoyed at the first serving, by more folks. Hot off the stone. Come get it.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Help kick me?

Forsyth & Gee are making a harmonic folk-pop EP for your heart, mind, soul and your ears. Yes, your ears will love this. Pre-order now and share around, wohntcha?

Friday, May 3, 2013

New Music: Forsyth & Gee

I'm thrilled to formally announce my new duo Forsyth & Gee. We now have demos streaming on our website, and even more on our Facebook page (via reverbnation). Give us a "like" and stay in touch. If you're interested in hosting a fantastic house concert, let me know and we'll talk.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Just an update for friends and family.

I made a move on Feb 7, 2013. I left the big beloved/hated/well-at -least-we're-known place of my employment of 6.5 years to pitch in at a little startup where even the locals who should know about it say "where?" I travelled internationally and managed multi-million dollar global ad campaigns at my last job. I load and unload the dishwasher and park in a gravel lot three blocks away at my new job.

So far, so rad.

I wasn't actively looking for a new gig, but life has a way of telling you what's next. You can either jump on board or tell life to mind its own business and stop tapping you on the shoulder. I've often dreamed about getting in on the ground floor of something small and special. This is not the first opportunity I've had to move on, but I'm sure glad I waited for this one.

6.5 years may not seem like that long to some, but CP+B years are like dog years. I don't know the exact multiplier, but I can tell you that I lived in three cities, moved four times, worked on several large, iconic accounts, a few smaller niche accounts and grew from an assistant content (account) manager to a supervisor. I was not once, ever, ever bored. At times it felt like struggling through and eventually earning a few MBAs in marketing, creative project management, dynamic workload juggling, tenacity-maintaining, and the largely abused and mistreated but paramount skill of human communication (aka storytelling, also sometimes as simple and common as the modern art of "email."). In short, it was my school where I studied and eventually felt like I became an assistant professor. My salary slowly and steadily grew over 6.5 years and I never felt a sense of entitlement. That said, I felt I worked hard and smart for every pre-tax penny. I left happy, on my terms and I was able to hold my head high and thank many people there for blessing my work life with their inspiring partnership. I was a bit nervous about leaving the familiar culture where I "grew up" in my professional life, but I was very much surprised at how liberating and comfortable it was when I resigned.

I started my new job the very next day, 8:30am sharp. I'm a Grenadier now. #10. An elite nimble clan of brand strategy, management and creativity warriors, all happy to be doing the dishes and taking out the trash. ("Passing the savings on to YOU.") We grill every Friday and we treat each other well. We don't tolerate slacking and we tell it like we see it. I'm proud to be associated with these guys and gals. I wouldn't have made this move if I didn't think it was built on principles that kept me up at night with excitement.

In the meantime, my life outside of work is also evolving, as per usual. Henry's growing fast, we traded in our Jetta lease for new TDI and I'm really excited about my new duo project with Sarah Gee - NY Broadway performer turned recent Coloradan who nails harmonies like it's her job. 'Cause it was her job. But now it's Forsyth & Gee. More to come on that. Just you wait. First gig this weekend, then a house concert on 3/1. Then a few more. Then a record.

A'ight, then.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The obligatory thoughts-on-guns post (sorry.)

(Author's caveat: This post contains just a couple stupid, but well-intended bits of esoteric humor I'm naively leaving in. It is in no way intended to reflect a light-minded treatment of recent tragedies.)

Just an estimation: It takes about 500 hours of well-rounded research and experience to have a valid 60-second opinion on most topics. Most people don't want to put in the work, but they want to take part in the discussion. This is why the discussion is nauseating to those who at least realize that they don't know what they don't know, and why those that don't realize that they don't know what they don't know also don't realize they are a part of the downward spiral.

If I didn't just lose you with that last sentence, thanks for sticking with me. 

I know a young man with a blog titled "The Experience-Free Opinion." I like the name of his blog even if I don't have time to read it most of the time, because he caveats his right to rhetoric with a healthy dosage of self-awareness. 

I'm building up the courage to post some thoughts and I think I'll start it with: I have no idea what I'm talking about because I don't know what I don't know. That said...

It is possible to not support a ban on "assault weapons" or "high-capacity magazines" in America, but at the same time to wish that they were never desired or easily provided for purchase by just anyone in the first place. (I write this with the understanding that the modern legislation defining what constitutes an "assault weapon" and "high-capacity magazine" was largely based on emotion and hollywood and mostly a symbolic gesture, not practical. More on that in a link below.*)

Just as it's possible to not support the prohibition, but not be a drinker myself and wish that others could find a more uplifting way of unwinding before they get into their car, or get angry at their spouse, or neglect their responsibilities and inconvenience others, or pickle their liver and cause their family and friends distress. (Not that all drinking results in these things, just all excessive drinking.)

And just as it's possible to not support large soda bans, but to certainly regret that far too many of our fellow country(wo)men are passing along bad health habits to children in their care; Children who already think that a sedentary lifestyle is "normal" and obesity-caused illness is probably just genes wreaking havoc.

Just as you wouldn't as an adult steal lunch money from a child, but you are baffled and saddened that s/he chose to spend that money on a "Black Eyed Peas" CD instead of eating. And then s/he sits through a live London Symphony Orchestra performance wearing noise-canceling headphones, listening to the CD over and over and over again.
People become exposed to, attracted to, and then dependent on unhealthy things, be it assault rifles or Coke. It seems as though they reach a state where they would be unhappy without those things and they tend to surround themselves with like-minded peers that enable and support their habits. Ideally, the goal should be to A) never reach that state or B) advocate self-awareness and replace the bad with something that is good/better for you and those around you. 

I will assume that you know stealing is wrong, bullies are bad, and people need to make their own choices until such time as they try to illegally take choice away from others. But if we ever have a chance to prevent something bad from becoming popular or "good" in the first place, let's give it a shot. Because once the people fall in love with it, then you're just the bully taking away their freedom of choice. Don't ban what you disagree with, however tempting as it may be. Rather, lobby and educate against what you disagree with lest it ever be widely perceived as desirable. If you care, and if you have a good case, make your case for a change of will, not a ban on choice. 

None of this will change the fact that using your choices to steal freedom from another (e.g. ending another's life via murder, or loudly singing along to the Black Eyed peas during the middle of a beautiful LSO performance for which people paid to hear the LSO and not you) is wrong, and rightfully illegal.

That's what makes a great society: People who have a choice, but make good choices. 

All that said, some places have reasonable preventative laws/restrictions/bans that are in place to prevent bad things from happening on accident: i.e. mandatory gun safes, trigger locks, speed limits in bad weather, school and construction zones, fire bans in public high fire danger lands, or FAA regulations for who is allowed to pilot a charter of children through the air. I just made that last one up, but it's probably real. You get it. 

Where do you draw the line? Can you own a functioning tank in a downtown area? An RPG Launcher? Are you allowed to take it anywhere? Should adults be able to do whatever they want as long as it only potentially harms him/herself?  Okay, but not children, right? Minors need to be protected from some choices for optimal development, right? Who decides who are children? Who decided that 18 years old is "adult?" Yet drinking age is 21, so for three years you're an adult, but not completely? (I guess there's an argument for gradual, tiered freedom granting, like in parenting.) Should there be exceptions to some freedoms for adults that act like or are stupider than some children 1/4 their age? What about adults with mental illness? What about mental illness that isn't easily detectable, but latently dangerous? Where do you draw the line, and is a 51% majority the only thing required to define the placement of the line?

Here's a question that requires more self-awareness, personal responsibility and civility, so it's appealing to me: 

What outlier "rights" are worth voluntarily sacrificing because it will make it harder for those less responsible than you to access the same "right" and abuse it to the detriment of innocents? Military-style assault rifles and high-capacity magazines easily fall into that category for me, the same way that I am not offended that I need a special government issued license to purchase or make C4 explosives. I am not offended that the Safe Explosives Act of 2002 and laws that existed before it make it very difficult for me to possess and use explosive tools. So why would I feel like a tyrannical government was infringing on my civil liberties if they made it equally as difficult to legally possess an assault rifle and high-capacity magazines? I'll tell you why: Because by now many people are used to being able to own them easily and freely. They've grown accustomed to the freedom. They ostensibly stand under the protective banner of the 2nd Amendment even while they are not equally offended that the 2nd Amendment doesn't grant them the right to stock up on regulated explosives. 

It's clear to me that the 2nd Amendment was inspired and should be protected at some level. I mean, just watch "Red Dawn." (To be clear, was a joke...kind of.) What is not clear is why many tools intended for taking massive amounts of life in a very short time should be allowed to any adult. In my "experience-free opinion" there is little room for that argument in this country. Some make a solid case that James Madison's 2nd Amendment was written for a different time, different circumstances and different weapons.

Now, for those that are somehow still reading, in addition to the link in the previous sentence, here is my recommended weekend editorial reading on the topic. A range of differing positions and opinions on both sides of the issue. I've collected these all in one place for your study and pondering:
  • A non-paranoid, level-headed, somewhat libertarian view.
  • The conservative case for an assault weapon ban, by the Republican-appointed federal judge that just sentenced Rep. Gabbi Gifford's shooter.
  • *A long, not very expertly substantiated editorial, but if most of it is true, still interesting read from a leftist that claims to also be a gun enthusiast. He ends his article with some food for thought.
  • What at first seams like a radical suggestion by Seattle's former police chief - repealing the 2nd Amendment - explains itself to be a fairly level-headed segue into simply regulating and registering the guns that people can and do own.
  • And the first informative, data-centric set of facts I read after the Newtown school shooting:
From the last link we see a clear link between gun control and drop in gun crime. Nobody is arguing that stiffer gun restrictions would eliminate 100% of premeditated gun violence, or even 50% of premeditated gun violence, but all the other developed countries in the world have already proven this is true: Stricter gun restrictions severely diminish the amount of gun violence. The only argument against it is that those countries may be "less free." That is likely a valid argument, but it's a broader argument.

That said, this is the USofA, and nobody is pretending that UK-esque laws would go over well here. (But we do love us some London Symphony Orchestra. Especially with an American at the helm.)

You may or may not be interested enough to study the data objectively. If you do, then there can be a discussion about measuring "free" vs. "not as free" societies and what the price of freedom is (the unit of measurement sometimes being liters of children's blood).

In closing, I acknowledge that this is largely a societal mental and moral health issue, more so than a gun issue. That doesn't mean there isn't a gun issue, it just means I believe underlying mental and moral health issues are what exacerbate what would otherwise be a smaller gun issue. 

This is all I currently know. I have no idea what I'm talking about because I don't know what I don't know. Then again, neither do you.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Remembering Dave Brubeck and crying just a little.

I'm from Concord, CA.

Tom Hanks is from Concord, CA. 

Meh, he's still alive.

Dave Brubeck is from Concord, CA.


I feel like crying a little. I'm so grateful for recorded music, for it will be like he never left. I have so many stories to tell about how Brubeck's music enlightened, inspired and soothed my mind and soul, but I can't bring myself to write them now. For now, just turn off the light and listen to this with headphones. In the dark. Then move on to Blue Ronda a la Turk, and the rest of "Time Out." Do it.

Dave Brubeck has long served as proof that creative jazz and popular success can go together. Thank heaven. 

Syncopated rest in peace.