Roadtrekkin’ To Anza-Borrego

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This last week we took a road trip to the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in a Roadtrek 190 – here’s the story…

Intro – The Roadtrekker Plan

The plan for this adventure began last year, with the goal being to go camping in our friend’s Roadtrek 190 RV (a very generous friend!) to see what “RV Camping” was like, and to decide if we’d want to take the RV on a cross-country adventure later this year.

A month ago we added another goal – to make a perfect Moscow Mule while camping. Very important stuff!

Last March we made reservations at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park for this year – we got a site with “full hook-ups” – A term we weren’t familiar with yet, but were told this is what we wanted.

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All of our camping in the past has been car camping and tent camping. We had a Vanagon back in the mid-90’s, but it wasn’t anything close to the experience of the Roadtrek 190.

As we discovered this week, RV camping is very different from regular camping… Continue reading

Selected Eclectic – Volume 3

[This is Volume 3 in the Selected Eclectic series – you can find Volumes 1 and 2 here, along with the story of how the Selected Eclectic series started…]

Selected Eclectic – Vol. 3 – March 2013

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Both Tania and I have been making our lists of songs we like which we’ve heard on KCRW’s Eclectic24 since our last playlist in January. Here’s the results…

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Playlist – Mixed March 24, 2013

01 – 00:00 – A New Life – Jim James
02 – 04:23 – Emmylou – First Aid Kit
03 – 08:32 – Something’s Rattling (Cowpoke) – Benjamin Gibbard
04 – 12:17 – Simple As This – Jake Bugg
05 – 15:30 – Seven Nation Army – The Dynamics
06 – 19:44 – Brazil – Cornelius
07 – 22:52 – Rock With You – Seu Jorge and Almaz
08 – 27:02 – Who Did That To You – John Legend
09 – 30:49 – State Of The Art (A.E.I.O.U.) – Jim James
10 – 35:47 – The Valleys (feat. Tanya Auclair & Milly Blue) – Natural Self
11 – 40:45 – Holiness – The Tellers
12 – 43:24 – The Seed (2.0) – The Roots and Cody Chestnutt
13 – 47:49 – Heartbreak – The James Hunter Six
14 – 52:05 – Sad Blues – Jesse Harris
15 – 55:27 – Bombs Away – Eels
16 – 1:00:48 – Solitude Is Bliss – Tame Impala
17 – 1:04:40 – Be Here Now – Ray LaMontagne
18 – 1:10:37 – Long Ride – Ry Cooder

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The Man Who Planted Trees

The Man Who Planted Trees

In honor of the first day of Spring I recommend a wonderful and uplifting short story of what one human being can do to improve the world around them… simply, quietly and without fanfare.

Enjoy!!!

Read The Story

The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono

The story begins in the year 1910, when this young man is undertaking a lone hiking trip through Provence, France, and into the Alps, enjoying the relatively unspoiled wilderness.

The narrator runs out of water in a treeless, desolate valley where only wild lavender grows and there is no trace of civilization except old, empty crumbling buildings. The narrator finds only a dried up well, but is saved by a middle-aged shepherd who takes him to a spring he knows of.

Curious about this man and why he has chosen such a lonely life, the narrator stays with him for a time. The shepherd, after being widowed, has decided to restore the ruined landscape of the isolated and largely abandoned valley by single-handedly cultivating a forest, tree by tree. The shepherd, Elzéard Bouffier, makes holes in the ground with his curling pole and drops into the holes acorns that he has collected from many miles away…

read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_Who_Planted_Trees

Link to story: http://homepages.tcp.co.uk/~nicholson/theman.html

Watch The Video

Below is a really good animated short film made from the story. The film won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1987.

Above: The Man Who Planted Trees from MrGreatShortFilms on Vimeo.

Continue reading

The Great American Cowboy And Other Images

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Yesterday afternoon I watched a really long alternative history type documentary with pretty low production values – lots of appropriated “History Channel” kind of video material that, well, mostly fit the narrative.

Towards the end of the film the video quality totally deteriorated. Bad video compression? Copied too many times? Both? – I don’t know, but the picture was digitally trashed.

After a little bit of listening to the narrator talk along with the rather abstract video, it made me start to think, “hey, it’s actually better this way” – a lot of the digital distortions had a very painterly touch.

I ended up spending several hours crawling through the last part of the video selecting and capturing images, starting with the cowboy (The Great American Cowboy I call it because it looks so iconic) image at the top of this page.

Here are some of the many screen captures I made last night… enjoy!