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Night Hike at Alum Cave Bluffs September 30, 2006 10:24 amPosted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, History, Philosophy
Years ago one January I drove to the Smokies with a female companion and we embarked upon a night hike of the Alum Cave Bluffs trail. Our only source of light was the moon and two cheapo AA battery $1 flashlights the first of which died on the hike up just as we emerged from the tree line.
â€¢ Alum Cave Bluffs Trail (11 miles round trip) starts off easy but become difficult. An initial one-and-a-half-mile trail takes you through Arch Rock’s erosion-created tunnel. the next 0.8 mile is steeper and leads to Alum Cave Bluffs which is a 100-foot high cliff. This last half of the trail is steep and, at times, hikers must grip trailside cables to traverse cliffs. The trail begins at the Alum Cave Bluffs parking area at Newfound Gap Road between Newfound Gap and Chimney Tops on the Tennessee side of the Smoky Mountains. Elevation gain is 2,800 feet. [Source
We conserved the batteries on the other light and chose to walk the rest of the way up by moonlight. It wasn’t long before we came to a thick, solid sheet of ice covering the trail. To our left, a steep ravine. To our right, a towering ice and snow covered cliff face.
I was pushing the boundary of my comfort zone. This was dangerous, we were ill equiped for such endeavors, and no one knew we were on the trail. I would have been more comfortable alone.
I am a strong believer that we grow by pushing our boudaries. We find the edge of our comfort zone and step just beyond it. That night we made it carefully up the slippery slope and, on the way down, we rode the trail like a surfer rides a wave. It was blast! Right after the ice the second flash light died and we had to hike the rest of the way in the forest blackness.
There is a fine line between pushing the envelop and stupidity. We can step outside of our comfort zones and still be safe. Personal growth comes through experimentation. By definition, nothing happens in stasis. Walk a different path to class. Drive a backroad to work. Wake up earlier than normal. Look at the tree outside your office building and study it. Create change in your life. Seek entropy. And try something that makes you uncomfortable. Live!add a comment
and I can’t getup September 30, 2006 9:34 amPosted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life
Last night I fell and slid down a hill. I couldn’t stop. It was a terribly helpless feeling. The effort I made trying to stop pulled several muscles in my right side and shoulder. It felt like I had dislocated my shoulder. This morning I still feel it.
Until last night, I always thought getting hurt by falling was due to stress and trauma. Very strange experience.add a comment
Deep questions September 29, 2006 5:19 pmPosted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life
Sometimes I like to ask philosophical questions of myself. Right now I’m asking, "how do you lose a 3 foot long black iron crow bar?"4comments
Time to fix the Jeep September 29, 2006 3:39 pmPosted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life
I can put it off no longer. Time to don my rubber gloves and replace the water pump on the Jeep.add a comment
New Orleans French Quarter September 29, 2006 12:39 pmPosted by Doug McCaughan in : History, Kenner
This video is from June 2006. For me, it could have been 1980. Looks very familar!add a comment
No man left behind September 29, 2006 8:43 amPosted by Doug McCaughan in : Touchy Subjects, Video, War
Well, except for these three because they are only citizen contractors for Halliburton. Truck convoy ambush caught on tape. Military leaves unarmed civilians to die.1 comment so far
One step closer to 1984 September 29, 2006 7:22 amPosted by Doug McCaughan in : Politics, Touchy Subjects, United States
So, how long do you think it will be before US citizens are wearing cages on their heads with rats in them?
…the Republicans are the party of torture, indefinite and unreviewable detention powers, and limitless presidential power, even over U.S. citizens on U.S. soil. By contrast, Democrats have opposed these tyrannical, un-American and truly dangerous measures. [Source]
Has our Senate absolutely lost their collective minds?!
During the debate on his amendment, Arlen Specter said that the bill sends us back 900 years because it denies habeas corpus rights and allows the President to detain people indefinitely. He also said the bill violates core Constitutional protections. Then he voted for it. [Source]
"I am a vegetarian. I’ll have my New York strip medium rare please." Could it be his meds were off and he couldn’t differentiate the YES button from the NO button? Or is Arlen Specter just that smug that he would brag about taking our country down.
When George Bush came into office I joked that his motives were to bring back his daddy’s Cold War and he has made good inroads to doing just that! What I did not realize is GW’s fascination with the Middle Ages. Apparently his sights are set in traveling further back in time than I had ever considered.
There is more in "Habeas Corpus, R.I.P. (1215-2006)":
It leaves the president with the power to decide who is an enemy combatant.
This bill is not a national security issueâ€”this is about torturing helpless human beings without any proof they are our enemies. Perhaps this could be considered if we knew the administration would use the power with enormous care and thoughtfulness. But of the over 700 prisoners sent to Gitmo, only 10 have ever been formally charged with anything.
Expect more statements in the news like: The "heart attack" came after he had been beaten so often on this legs that they had "basically been pulpified," according to the coroner. Or not. I suppose the administration probably has some clause that for security reasons the public never needs to know about torturees.
Where will this stop? Is a person that cannot pay their taxes worthy of torture? What about death row? Or better, what about people we suspect maybe, might, have had something to do or perhaps some information on a crime?
Oh! We can stop giving our kids Ritalin. Let’s bring back corpal punishment. Nothing quite like a big armed principal with a wood paddle with holes drilled in it to keep the kids in line.
This bill that passed is a revised version that excludes several "safe guards" from the original bill.
In another change, a clause said that evidence obtained outside the United States could be admitted in court even if it had been gathered without a search warrant. But the bill now drops the words â€œoutside the United States,â€ which means prosecutors can ignore American legal standards on warrants. [Source]
Right now I am sure many short sighted people are thinking that this bill only applies to the war effort and making our country safer. It is a short leap from applying this bill to the American people.
The bill also expands the definition of an unlawful enemy combatant to cover anyone who has "has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States." Quick, define "purposefully and materially." One person has already been charged with aiding terrorists because he sold a satellite TV package that includes the Hezbollah network. [Source]
Could the opinions I state in this blog make me an enemy combatant? If I chidingly state that we live in Amerika can I anticipate O’Brien to pound down my door and take me away?
As Vladimir Bukovsky, the Soviet dissident, wrote, an intelligence service free to torture soon "degenerates into a playground for sadists." But not unbridled sadismâ€”you will be relieved that the compromise took out the words permitting interrogation involving "severe pain" and substituted "serious pain," which is defined as "bodily injury that involves extreme physical pain." [Source]
We are living it folks.
Bush is a sadist. He will say anything to get his way.
In July 2003, George Bush said in a speech: "The United States is committed to worldwide elimination of torture, and we are leading this fight by example. Freedom from torture is an inalienable human right. Yet torture continues to be practiced around the world by rogue regimes, whose cruel methods match their determination to crush the human spirit." [Source]
Other news discusses Losing the War, Winning a Police State with Bush Co.’s Widespread Warnings, Fanned Fears, NSA Wire Taps, Expanded Powers, and War on Iran.4comments
From the mouths of babes September 29, 2006 7:03 amPosted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Family, From the mouths of babes, Noah
Noah, 15 minutes before he leaves for his school bus: "By the way, Dad, I need two composition books for TAG today."
Fortunately I use composition books for my project tracking. Unfortunately, I ran out of the $1.40 composition books and started using 15 cent notebooks instead.
Dad, as Noah walks out the door for his bus: "Noah, what are you carrying?"
Noah: "Oh yeah. Guess I don’t need this plate."
Noah returns pink plate with Tinkerbell picture to kitchen and walks out door with dry waffle in hand.
It is hard to be 10.add a comment
Knoxville Juggler’s Club September 28, 2006 1:58 pmPosted by Doug McCaughan in : Health, Juggling, Of Interest
The Knoxville Juggler’s Club meets the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th Tuesdays of every month at the downtime YMCA. Enjoy these pictures of some club members. All are welcome. If you don’t know how to juggle, you will after visiting!1 comment so far
How much do you make blogging? September 28, 2006 1:24 pmPosted by Doug McCaughan in : Cool Sites, Of Interest, Technology
Goodbye Geneva Convention September 28, 2006 12:59 pmPosted by Doug McCaughan in : Politics, Touchy Subjects, United States
I just can’t improve upon Tom’s words.add a comment
Giant Insect Spotted in Germany September 28, 2006 12:26 pmPosted by Doug McCaughan in : Humor, Philosophy
What would we do without Google Maps?! This bug was last seen in Germany making a toxic spill in a farmer’s crop.
So, can I assume by this image that:
- Space bugs are invading
- Roaches live in space
- The high imaging satellite was infested
- We don’t really have satellites in space. Google maps are done with studio trickery just like the moon landing and this bug walked across an artist rendering just as the picture was made. Btw, the Earth is flat.
The Internet Stinks September 28, 2006 11:27 amPosted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life
As I sit here eating my spicy sausage and chilli, it has been brought to my attention that in December 2000 smells were transmitted over the Internet.
PLANO, Texas, Dec. 21 /PRNewswire/ — AromaJet.com announced today that it has demonstrated interactive transmission of Synthesized Smell over IP (IPsmell(TM)). Using an interactive program that allows for the creation of aromas by mixing sixteen separate ingredients in 1% increments, Dr. David B. Wallace, AromaJet’s Chief Technical Officer, transmitted a number of distinct fragrances from Sidney, Australia to an AromaJet Kiosk at AromaJet’s offices in Plano, TX. Both Dr. Wallace’s portable computer and the AromaJet kiosk were connected to the Internet and communicated with each other through AromaJet’s SmellServer(TM). [Source]
So why in nearly 6 years has such incredible technology not experience widespread acceptance? Shouldn’t every laptop shoot out new car smell as you shop for a car online?
I find it funny that both Willfull and my wife sent me this cartoon.5comments
Doctors Without Borders September 28, 2006 11:17 amPosted by Doug McCaughan in : Health, Philanthropy, Touchy Subjects, Video
Good stuff from Rocketboom today. If you don’t watch the video, at least visit the Doctors Without Borders website. There is no hardship or challenge that I face which can compare to the issues Doctors Without Borders takes to hand.4comments