fishing for words

(and tossing out random thoughts)


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two birds, one stone

I tend to keep the soapbox tucked away when writing for this modest blog, but sometimes errant thoughts are worth sharing, particularly when they might just benefit all of us while making the most use of federal tax dollars. The following is presented without further editorializing.

Gun Control Proposals Marriage Control Proposals
Require universal background checks for all gun sales, including those by private sellers that currently are exempt. Require universal background checks for all marriages, especially those performed by private Las Vegas chapels.
Limiting ammunition magazines to 10 rounds. Limiting marital arguments to 10 rounds.
Financing programs to train more police officers, first responders and school officials on how to respond to active armed attacks. Financing programs to train more marriage officiants on how to respond to and dissolve ill-advised engagements.
Starting a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign. Starting a national safe and responsible marriage campaign.
Send a letter from ATF to licensed dealers with guidance on how to facilitate background checks for private sellers. Send a letter from The Library of Congress to licensed marriage facilitators (civil, religious and otherwise) with guidance on how to facilitate background checks AND DNA TESTS for both engaged parties.
Remove barriers that prevent states from reporting information on people prohibited from gun ownership for mental health reasons. Remove barriers that prevent states from reporting information on people prohibited from marriage for mental health reasons.
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what we saw last (few) weeks…

  • Am I wrong to think it more than a bit odd, weird in fact, when a 60-plus-year-old guy ends a conversation with “peace out?”
  • Great, now we have monster goldfish breeding in Lake Tahoe. http://ow.ly/hVpMr #carp #carpocolypse #invasivespecies
  • Yesterday’s long drive to NorCal on Hwy. 5 from Palm Desert showed Lexus has replaced BMW as the brand favored by the more obnoxious drivers.

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dusting off good memories

Just about two weeks ago I awoke to two unfamiliar sights that dusted off old memories. Bright sunshine, a cloudless sky and startlingly green lawns made possible by man’s influence on the course of water in this Southern California desert.

I hadn’t been in Riverside County for more years that I care to count, and this was the first time in a long while that I was visiting the lower half of the state without any plan or itinerary. There was a more mundane reason for this trip, but much of the time it offered a chance to really look around.

There’s always a risk that memories won’t match up with the reality of a place after the passing of decades years. Not this time. Sure, there probably where more people, more cars on the road, and more of those funky strip malls that seem endemic to Southern California, but it was the nature of the place — something that I tend to tune into more than man-made landmarks — that matched my memories.

My viewpoint was a bit muddled…I had spent my early high school years looking east to find Mt. San Jacinto; this trip it was west. But much of the terrain was familiar. The steep escarpments of the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa mountain ranges. The dramatic demarcation between the watered and arid land of the Coachella Valley. The canyons carved over decades by flash floods. Clusters of course native grasses and sparse bushes watched over by the occasional ironwood tree.

A beauty of its own.

A beauty of its own.

High above were the “sky islands” of the mountains. The Palm Springs Aerial Tram took us from a dry canyon (2,643 ft.) to the near alpine conditions surrounding the mountain station at 8,516 ft., where the snow was in the foreground of a view of the vast and dry valley below. This engineering marvel — only the first tower is accessible by road, the others only on foot and by helicopter — passes through five climate zones during its 2.5 mile climb.

Looking out over Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley desert from 8,500 feet.

Looking out over Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley desert from 8,500 feet.

Our drive one day included a stop at one of the big date ranches in Indio, where I was reminded how much I enjoy that fruit. (Those with lower moisture content, thus not sticky, can be good snacks to carry during hunting and fishing…) We also passed the Salton Sea, an ecological oddity that no one seems to know what to do with.

It’s always a risk revisiting a place of the “good ol’ days.” I’d dare say that this trip, and memories it created, were almost as good as those days long gone.