I never believed in Bigfoot…

because he never believed in me. Every night, I’d look out over the audience, and there’d always be that one empty seat….

I stole those lines from a comedian. Just thought it was funny as hell.

But I really do hate that damn Bigfoot. In 2006, fresh off publishing my book, I was at a Barnes & Noble for a signing. The other author there that day was an Idaho State University professor who had just published a book about Bigfoot. As in, ‘Bigfoot really does exist’ in spite of there being zero evidence of any land mammal even remotely fitting the description of this fictional character. Well, that guy had a line in front of his little desk that went out the door. I had about 10 people stop by all day and sold a few books. But at least a couple of people just stopped to ask if I was the Bigfoot guy.

Imagine paying $50,000 to a university to find their professors are fixated on (and profiting from) perpetuating myths rather than teaching useful or interesting knowledge. Maybe I’m just jealous.

So that’s why I hate Bigfoot—because he doesn’t even exist and sells more books than me. But then I suppose the Bible falls into this category as well.

What we need is a good ole-fashioned alien invasion. In the movies, when the aliens invade earth, all of humankind pulls together in a united effort to throw the pesky trespassers off our bruised and battered planet. We humans can of course destroy the planet and civilization  and lots of other species along the way, but by-god we’ll not let anyone else destroy it.

For the first time, it feels as if the wheels may finally be starting to loosen on the Trump Bus of Merry Dicksters. A few republicans are starting to throw a little shade. Polls are starting to show some daylight between Trump and Biden. General Mattis wrote a pretty incriminating op-ed. Of course, what I find most amazing and disturbing is that these people of power and supposed wisdom are only now beginning to very tepidly question Trump’s suitability for office. They’ve all been bowing to him now for over 3 years and just because he is slightly more unhinged now than a month or two ago, they are starting to act surprised and a little disappointed? Next they will start patting themselves on the back and indicate their criticism of their leader makes them candidates for a profile in political courage award.

Also, more importantly, for the first time there is growing acknowledgment that police organizations in this country have lost their way. Many organizations are arrogant and ignorant and relish the use of force and love to play solider by dressing up in combat gear and going out to terrorize and taunt the public. In a very public display of the misguided solidarity of these wanna-be military units, two police officers were suspended (Buffalo I think) for shoving to the ground an old white man who was just standing there doing nothing. He hit his head and as blood ran out from his wound, the cops all just walked on by. One cop seemed to try to bend down to see if the man was okay, and another cop can be seen grabbing his colleague’s arm and pulling him back up away from the victim.

Unbelievable. So the two cops that did the shoving were suspended and the rest of the unit resigned from that riot squad (or whatever the hell they call the ones that like to play dress up). So, this is their true colors—even when one of their own breaks the rules and does something harmful or damaging, the rest stand by that person. This is what allows bad cops to exist and cause so much trouble. The good cops need to grow some hair on their peaches and stand up and call out the bad ones.

Hopefully, that town will realize they are far better off without the combat unit anyway—they need more regular police in regular uniforms, on foot or bikes rather than all the combat gear and tanks and SUV’s.

Damn, coffee was good this morning. I decided for the first time in a while to skip my walk. I’ve had a little tenderness in my foot and wanted to give it a rest. Also wanted to get a jump start on research for some cool camp trailer ideas I need to chase down. Shit’s getting real. We need to build this next prototype, but getting the design exactly right is complicated.

I read an excellent article about Wallace Stegner in NYT’s this morning. I am a big Stegner fan. His writing is complicated at times, but it is beautiful craft and as near perfect as any I’ve read. I think I’ve consumed most of his body of work, but I learned of a few others today that I have not read—so will want to track them down. Stegner was known as ‘The Dean of Western Writers’. He mentored or influenced many of the writers who went on to become known including Edward Abbey, Ivan Doig, Wendell Berry, Rick Bass and Larry McMurtry.

I’ve been missing the west a lot. This is a good time of year in the mountains. Carla sent me pictures from EFU, and of course they are stunning.

Yesterday I cut out of work early and slipped in a 2.5 hour mountain bike ride. The difference between riding here and in Idaho is stark. First, there is no significant elevation change here. I rode 13 miles and probably had less than 500 feet of total elevation gain. In Idaho, that ride would have been 3,000 feet or more. But the riding here can be very technical. The single-tracks here have a lot more rocks and tree roots, both of which are slick as glass and hard to navigate. Trails here are also more twisted and curvy—I think just to get more out of less space. I probably had to get off and back on the bike 40 times yesterday due to areas that were impassable because of tree roots or rocks, or creek crossings that were too steep, or just mud that was too thick and slick. So pretty technical riding and I was tired and covered with mud and blood by the time I finished. Mud for obvious reasons. Blood because the trail had a lot of sticker bushes that had branches extending into the trail and they would snag on my arms and legs and rip out a little gash.

I had an interesting random encounter with a fisherman. This trail at West Branch State Park wraps around a large lake. At one point, I was on one side of a small inlet, near the water, when a decent size boat came roaring in and cut his engine to drift in to the shallow water to fish. As I pedaled around, the trail on the other side of the inlet was again very near the water and the boat had drifted near the bank. I was perhaps only 25 feet or so from the boat this point, but 8 or 10 feet higher due to the bank. The fisherman hollered out, with some malice and intent “the trails are closed”.

I kept pedaling, but just found it interesting. Here is a dude, enjoying his hobby in a peaceful setting, and my bike is no disturbance to him. Nearly silent and in out of of his space in a few seconds anyway. And yet he feels compelled to holler this out to me. First, he was just fucking wrong. The trails are open as the website and multiple signs indicated and there were a few other riders, but what was the point anyway. How was I disturbing him?

Obviously a Trump supporter—just a hater. Mountain bikers mostly tend to drift to the left politically so maybe this was his motivation. I was wearing an NPR shirt, but I doubt he could read so that probably wasn’t it. I did think about stopping and flicking a couple of rocks at his skinny ass, or even seeing if I could reach his boat from my superior height with a good piss stream. But neither of those seemed like a good act of humanity and I am at that age where I try to show a little maturity on occasion, so I let it pass. Just an interesting observation on human nature.

I was reading ‘Thirteen Moons’ by Charles Frazier. I like his writing. But when I got to page 88, the next page in my copy was page 297. There are multiple pagination issues in my copy, but the closest sequential number I could find after page 88 was page 122. So whatever happened between pages 89 and 120, I will never know. Actually I will because I will swing by Half-Priced Books today and swap out my copy for one that is more linear and traditional in presenting the story. I guess I am assuming that bookstores are essential, but suppose I will find out.

I read on social media an excerpt from MLK in a letter he had apparently written to his fellow clergymen. I have not researched this to validate the authenticity but it seems right, so I am passing it along.

“I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”

No other news of note.

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