Mixed bag


Today we hit the EIGHT BILLION mark.

A century ago there were 2 billion people on Earth.

Two thousand years ago we estimate 300 million people walking the Earth.

That is (out of control) exponential growth.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Tanzania are keeping our exponential growth “alive”. India is projected to surpass China as the world’s most populous country in 2023.


Mixed bag


You read that right.

Since I live 45 miles from the next grocery store and having no car I decided to give Amazon and free delivery a try.

First week of November I ordered a jar of peanut butter, amongst other things. The item was in stock, but no delivery date was given. Then, a couple days later I got a notice that the item would be shipped end of November. Wait, got an update! Now I’ll get an early Christmas present: Expected delivery date: December 21st.

At that rate, I must consider an overnight trip to town, on foot or by bike. We get Continental Divide hikers coming by all the time walking that distance in a day.

Mural, Silver City, NM

Not to worry, I am not going to starve, but do we have a peanut butter shortage?

Then there was order number 2. Being an environmentally conscious guy, I ordered an item from the closest vendor, 180 miles away. The item arrived within 4 days. Nothing wrong with that. When I looked at the shipment track, I noticed the package had travelled 528 miles.

What gives? I thought the traveling salesman problem had been solved many years ago.

It’s all good: Amazong.

Mixed bag, One Man's Paradise

Supreme? Not!

There is nothing supreme about the current US Supreme Court. Just another institution voting along Party lines.

I would expect the court to have a unanimous view on justice, as there is only one justice, one truth. Everything else are just opinions, personal views.

Get rid of the supreme in Supreme Court! It’s just another court filled with biased, opinionated politicians.

Mixed bag

To travel…

Today I’ll ponder about the state of traveling. Reading the news I came across articles that made me think. First, there is a 21 year old woman from Nevada, who visited all 192 sovereign countries of the world in her young life. She set a Guinness world record as the youngest person to accomplish this (what shall I call it?).

I am wondering, what do you do after this? And what did she take away from it? Just wondering.

She liked Northern Pakistan the most because of the unexpected kindness of people (and the absence of other tourists). Her travels have attracted 50,000 followers… A book is next… Still…

“The traveler sees what he sees.

The tourist sees what he has come to see.”

G.K. Chesterton

Then this is for all cruise ship passengers to think about. Princess Cruise Lines and its parent company Carnival Corporation have been fined another 20 milion US$ for dumping plastic waste into the ocean. Not the first time they were fined for environmental crimes.

Not sure what the attitude is here, soiling your own playground?

And finally, considering climbing Mt. Blanc in France? Better make reservations. No ticket, no mountain for you. 25,000 climbers have overwhelmed the hut system and the environment, so local authorities are limiting access to the mountain.

I think there is a common theme here. Too many people in one place, locals or visitors, are not good for the environment. Wild and quiet places turn into tourist attractions. What’s left? Now even rugged mountains are being overrun?

Begs the question, why some of us are seeking solitude and wilderness.

Our modern ways of living and traveling allow us to see the world, but do they let us experience nature?

Well, that’s it for today. Another day of business as usual.

PS: A day after I wrote this I found an article on The Atlantic. There is a word for this phenomenon: overtourism.


Mixed bag

Into the White

We have been watching winter movies playing in remote places lately. Yesterday it was “Into the White”, a Norwegian movie by director Petter Næss.

A group of British and German soldiers find themselves stranded in a remote shelter in the midst of winter during WW II after crashing their planes in the Norwegian wilderness. Not a war movie, but a great portrait of humanity based on true events.

Some critics said the movie has soul, I concur.
Mixed bag


The night the lights went out, almost.


Thousands of miles away the suits are having last minute discussions on whether to shutdown the government or not. I am celebrating a foot of fresh snow.

The lights stayed on. The park will remain open, for now. Xanterra will foot the bill to have the road plowed. Government buildings will remain closed. This could be a great weekend in the park. Just the locals (bison, elk, moose, foxes, coyotes and us) and fresh powder covering up the landscape. Let’s see what the morning has in store…

“I predict future happiness for Americans, if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”

Thomas Jefferson

Mixed bag

A Prime Day

The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.”

Elise Boulding

Amazon apparently had more than a billion dollar in sales on Prime Day, which lasted 30 hours. Really?

The most popular items sold were smart speakers, tablets, 4K TV screens, programmable pressure cookers, DNA ancestry tests, Whey protein powder and “Game of Thrones” on Blu-Ray. Exactly what I needed, not.

When do we realize that this mad consumption does not make us one iota more happy, free or healthy? To the contrary.


Twilight on the Chilkat River

I am happy to report that I have spent zero dollars and more importantly zero seconds on trying to buy anything on Prime Day.

Have a grand day out.

Mixed bag

Smithsonian Photo Contest


The Smithsonian Institution has its annual photo contest.

Over 48,000 photos were submitted in the following categories: The Natural World, Travel, Sustainable Travel, People, Mobile, The American Experience, and Altered Images. In each category 10 finalists were selected for you to cast your vote.

Every day until March 28 you can vote for one of your favorite images in the Readers’ Choice award.

Go visit. See beautiful images. Show your appreciation.