Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Proper Clothing For Hiking Fung

Look good out there. Avoid evil spirits, etc.


According to the founding precepts of Fung Shway, there are five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. To create and maintain harmony according to the Ruling Fung Principles, these various elements must be properly employed.

But Backpacking Fung is a little different. Wood and fire you can understand — carefully place the wood into position, apply the fire element, and stand back. If the wood and the fire are comfortable with one another, and decide that you're OK too, you get to cook supper.

Likewise with water. Perform the proper ritual dance moves and you can cross just about any stream you find, without losing it.

Earth — OK, but metal? Kinda off to the edge, don't you think, for backpacking?

You got to realize that those traditional Five Elements are mostly a city tradition. Backpackers require a different focus because of their specific needs. Especially when it comes to clothing. So therefore we have our own slightly more expansive angle on Fung — the "Six Clothings".

These six clothing elements embody the principles that permeate backpacking. They deal with dirt, bugs, wind, rain, cold, and stink. Like so...

  • Dirt: Black, when put next to food, may make it look less appealing, but it'll do the opposite for you, especially if you're feculant and therefore naturally attractive to the dirt principle. And after a few days on the trail we all are. So wear black. Black may dampen your inner chi, but we're talking about your outside here, and anything that hides signs of excess foulness is a good deal.
  • Bugs: It's well-known that bugs can see things we can't, because each of them is born with a tiny evil eye, and that's how they find us. Happy clothing is your pal, especially anything covered in smiley faces. Bugs can't stand all the joy so they go bite the people behind you. (Always walk in front. Or bring a bug zapper. There's now an app for that.)
  • Wind: Everyone knows about wind chimes. It's how you attract cooling breezes on a hot day and annoy the hell out of your neighbors. But what's the opposite? How to use Essential Fung Principles to make wind go bother someone else? By making anti-wind chimes out of chicken bones, and hanging them from your pack. True, it's not clothing, but when wind hears the telltale sound and comes looking for lunch, and finds only dry, picked-clean bones, it'll go away disappointed, and leave you the hell alone. Cozy. Cheap too. Still annoying.
  • Rain: A tough one. The term "Fung Shway" literally means "sloppy wet", which makes you wonder how this stuff got to be so appealing to trendy new-age idiots, but backpackers are smart enough to know about rain, and most are willing to try anything. It is a fact that all major civilizations were built near water, but you don't want it running down your backside all day, do you? With that in mind, look for striped clothing. Vertical stripes resemble rain gutters and give a subtle hint to the rain that you wish it would go somewhere else. Might work. Who knows? Try it once.
  • Cold: Easy to deal with. Just wear red clothes, preferably with the color side next to your skin. This always works, but you can think warm thoughts as well. If blisters develop then you overdid it. Peel off a layer. Think less. Just walk. (Grunting is still OK if is suits you.)
  • Stink: There are very few ailments that can't be alleviated (or completely cured) by using the power of Fung and a bit of color. Hiker stink is one of them. Until you can actually bathe, try carrying a picture of Uncle Wu's All Organic Fung-Skrub™ pinned to your shirt and think clean thoughts. If you're past that stage, then wearing bio-hazard orange may at least keep others a safe distance away. (Especially good if they're carrying sticks.) As a last resort, blame it on the dog.

OK. Now you're good to go. Please go. Far.


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Me? Just thinking about this makes me fart with excitement.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Wubilya Pee Bee And Thee

Shedding simplified.

Yep. Marketing has done gone and won.

You ask anybody what to do when it rains, and they say "gortecks", like a bug got caught in their throat, or they start swearing or something, and you ain't smart enough to catch up.

But after a while you do. I thought that flying saucer robot guy, that it was about him, Gort, and his former wife Techx, maybe. But not.

Not Gort and his ex but Randolph William Gort or something and his fancy cloth stuff, which he invented, and what was patented by his son R.W., and usually referred to by the name "Gore-Tex". Which explains the gortecks sound. For Gort Texnology I guess.

Anyway it's all about miracles and not getting wet. I always thought Randolph William Gort was the newspaper guy behind that whole Rosebud thing but stand corrected. He was a man obsessed by jackets. And pants. Outdoor stuff. Rainwear.

This is about rainwear.

Rainwear and miracles. And the miracle is waterproof-while-breathable (WPB), as seen from the inside, where you are. Put this on and you can hike about forever, stay dry, and not sweat nor suffer from rotting pits.

However, there is problems in Pitsville nevertheless. Like the waterproof part is OK. And the rest is...spotty. You wear some Tex de Gore clothes and you find out the meaning of 3% breathable. Which leaves the other 97% in the not-so-much category. Compared to what, you wonder, which is the main question, and the answer is prolly naked.

However hiking naked tends toward the chilly. And is not so dry neither.

There have been those that considered alternatives. Which are the usual: ponchos or jackets built like plastic bags, 10-gauge double-rubber-coated stinkwear, umbrellas, other miracle Texes, like eVentLess, H2Nope, NoCip, and so on. Or like going with regular clothes and dying quite soon and miserable. Or going bare naked, which is even worse for all sorts of reasons.

Though now you wonder about bears. And deer. And even raccoons. All in hair shirts, and somehow they get by. No Gort. No Tex. No Tex-Mex. Nothing fancy. So there must be a thing there, something going on.

Which might be the clue.

Here's what you can try, and prolly save money too. I'd like to see it. All you need is a family-size bottle of Hair-B-Thick Pelt Stimulator™ pills. And maybe some Nikwax for the finish. And disposable razors for afterward, when you need to go in to the office again.

Hair-B-Thick Pelt Stimulator™

  • Stimulates new growth, revives old growth.
  • Promotes shinier, thicker, faster-growing hair and/or pelage.
  • Works for women and men and so on.
  • Effective for all pelt types.
  • Doctor-formulated.
  • Gluten-free.

Start with the pills a couple weeks before hiking season. After you get a nice even coat started (at least an inch, all over), brush it every night. And use a good quality pet wash. This will keep it glossy.

Then, the night before your trip, massage in a bottle of Nikwax, let 'er dry, and then rinse.

That should do for a week. And now you can hike naked too if you want. By this point no one can tell anyhow. And due to the fur, you won't need a heavy sleeping bag or extra clothes. While hiking, if you seem to be taking on water, give yourself a good dog shake and you ought to be fine.


  • Spooking other backpackers, but quite a few are naturally hairy so this is nothing new.
  • Spooking day hikers (like we care).
  • Unfortunate incidents during hunting season. (Be sure to dye yourself bright orange first.)
  • Getting cited for excessive shedding.

Might be worth a try. You go first. Send pictures. Keep off the sofa.


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Me? Trying to figure out who sent me a gift bag of cockroaches.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Fung Your Way Into Spring, Part 3

Finishing up with Fung.

So far, we've covered the first five of the ten things you really want to know about before you dare set up camp. Knowledge of Fung Shway and chi-wrangling are important. They will keep your brain occupied and out of the way whenever you go camping.

So read on then, 'K?

6. Extend heavenward. This is also known as pitching a tent, or accomplishing erection. If you are not actually camping on top of those energy-releasing waters (preferred) but only near them (a distant second) at least face your tent toward water. If there is no water, advance two paces and urinate, but in buffalo country be prepared for thundering herds drawn to your salt. (Though after the first few tramplings you'll hardly even notice any more.)

7. Decorate. Wind chimes are great. Everybody loves wind chimes, and some of us need them, especially those with personality disorders. If your campground neighbors came in on Harleys, wind chimes will do them good, and eventually they will thank you. If not immediately, then certainly at some point during the subsequent murder trial. Be patient. Cooling your heels waiting for your next rebirth will give you lots of time to appreciate the clever wisdom of your deeds.

8. Illuminate. "We'll leave the light on for you" is more than an advertising slogan for a cheap-ass chain of dumpy motels — it's a recipe for remaining alive, assuming that you made it past the wind-chime phase. Not only leave the lights on, but set up a decent defense perimeter before retiring. At least. When things get dark, you can count on something creepy going on out there. You don't want that, and at times the High Chi needs a little help. A good 1.5 kw generator and a few flood lights are a good bet. And if you're going that far, why not throw up an electric fence too? The gentle clanging of your wind chimes will completely mask any putty-putt engine sounds and will put your neighbors at ease, as noted earlier. If not, you've got your sidearm. May the chi be with you.

9. Be a Mr/Ms TidyBowl. If there is one thing that chi hates, it's dust bunnies. Keep your campsite clean and uncluttered at all times. Bring a tape measure and lightweight carpenter's square (Now available in ultralight titanium!) for precision placement of all particulars. This will please the chi, which tends toward the anal at times. But hey. Also, shuffle all clutter to the inside of your tent. This includes excess shrubberies if your camp site is especially bushy, but do not uproot anything. Simply seduce your leafy friends in with treats and a gentle tone of voice. If you prove adept, you yourself may have to sleep outside, but the chi will probably look out for you. (Midnight nose pokes to the ear or anything biting into your face during the dark hours will of course indicate otherwise.)

10. Spiff up your chi before leaving. Sure, you can always leave a mess behind for someone else to deal with but it is much better to pick up after yourself. This creates positive chi for the next wave of campers. Pretend they deserve it.

The pros go for a ChiHome 2-in-1 Steam Vac with Microfiber Pads, but generally a simple trash bag and a number six goat-grooming comb will do. For especially tough situations you might need a portable, battery-powered chi straightener, but probably not. Take a practical approach. Simply replace any relocated shrubberies, sweep up errant shredded clothing and tattered food bags that evil spirits may have gotten into, collect loose detritus and used bandages, and then give the rest a quick once-over with your goat comb or chi straightener.

In case your campsite does need a more extensive cleaning, try this...

  • First up, Discharge & Drain. This procedure removes residual static chi voltage buildup. (If you see sparks shooting out anywhere, then be sure not to skip this step.) D&D, as it's called, uses the pull of ectoplasmic gravity flommulation to fluff up and relax all that chi stuff — kind of like a cat shampoo, but tends to result in less residual scarring if you are lucky.
  • Second, reconnect your yin to your yang, but mind your polarities and keep an eye open for short circuits. If you have trouble telling your yin from your yang, spring for one of Ed "Big Daddy" Ng's Pocket YinYang guides. They're worth it. When done correctly, this reconnection process points earth-energy upward, transforming it to sky-energy, or something like that. If you get it right. Otherwise you get knocked on your keister. Don't worry though — it's a stage we all have to go through, and gives you a good story to tell while you wait for the bandages to come off.
  • Third then, pull any residual energy up and over your crown-point. (You might have to feel around for it, but you'll know it when you find it.) Then tug gently to move the energy down along the meridians in your chest. (If you can find any. Good luck with that. Meridians can be downright vague little buggers.) Anyway, the result is to remove internal blockages and free negative energy to move down to your Dan Tian (Euphemism or what?) for elimination and recycling. Dig a cat hole first or you'll be sorry. And again, watch out for sparks or sudden explosive events.

If all this sounds too complicated, it is, but it does give you a feeling that life, after all, does have a purpose, no matter how misguided that feeling is, and otherwise you'd have nothing to do but sit in the dirt and bang rocks together. So Fung away then.


Fung Your Way Into Spring, Part 1
Fung Your Way Into Spring, Part 2


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Me? Planning to investigate those mysterious slime trails you find all over. Pretty soon now.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Fung Your Way Into Spring, Part 2

Your handy intro on how to maintain an even campsite strain.

Now that you've got your elementary chi bits in order for sleeping and basic survival (Fung Your Way Into Spring, Part 1), you're ready for some advanced techniques.

No, wait — don't go running off just yet. You have to stay with us for a bit. Fung Shway is not a game and you can't start when you're only half ready. You must follow the full course or suffer the (sometimes severe) consequences for wimping out. The Heavenly Chi Beings (sometimes affectionately referred to as the High ChiBees, or HeeBeeChiBees) get pissed at mere mortals who think that they can dip into Fung Shway, skim the cream for personal gain, and not pay their dues.

As Ed "Big Daddy" Ng, of the Fung Speakers Service Bureau and House Flippers International, Inc., says "There are ten fundamental campsite aspects that must be attended to. Screw up and the HeeBeeChiBees may decide to whup yo ass." So, with that in mind, let's see what we can do to prevent unfortunate events.

1. Clear away nubbins. This is easy. If you sleep on the ground, you already know how. Little pine cones, annoying twigs, small stones, stray demons and nippy evil spirits — just respectfully remove all of them, but first sketch up a simple map so you can put each one back exactly where it was. (Important!) Nubbin-tidying ensures good sleep, which is important, as you will swear so much less in your sleep, and you need your rest too, you do. The Heavenly Chi Beings get pissed if ordinary mortals curse on their turf and wake up cranky.

2. Go green. Healthy vegetation means good chi. Healthy vegetation is green. Therefore, think green chi. If camping in a desert or on snow, simply bring along a few plastic plants, or hang a green bandanna on a bush. You'll probably be OK. Active wildlife is a good sign too. Anything works — birds, squirrels, fish, bears, mountain lions, rattlesnakes — whatever walks through camp is good, and then you don't have to set out any stupid fake bushes. Just spray paint the critters as they pass by.

3. Mind your water. The ideal campsite is on or near water. Oceans, rivers, lakes, ponds, waterfalls — they all work, but you may have problems at first with actually sleeping on water, let alone pitching your tent there. This does take practice, and requires good breath-holding skills, but you'll need these skills eventually, so start now. Bring a wetsuit and a fresh tank of pure air until you achieve the proper confidence level.

4. Choose neighbors with care. If these are wild animals, you'll be OK as long as they aren't hungry, but with humans you can never be sure. Since it's now legal to pack a gun in national parks, do that. The ancient Fung Masters did use swords, bows, and bamboo whack-staffs when necessary, but none of these has the range or stopping power required in modern times. You can't go wrong with that old standby, a Browning Model 1911 plus a good supply of .45 ACP ammo. Retrieve all your spent cartridge casings to please the chi's tidiness requirements.

5. Apply the smell test. Right after your initial nubbin-hunt, get down on your hands and knees and give your potential campsite a good sniffing. Cover every square inch. What you're doing is locating pockets of negative chi. When you find some, stick a small flag there and keep moving. Negative chi, N-Chi, or enchi, can be anything left behind, like trash, rotten food, or turds. Collect all such items and mail them to their rightful owners at the end of your stay. This gets you huge bonus points, sometimes called good karma, though your gag reflexes may require re-training.

Next time, more Fungie Goodness. Tune in for our dramatic conclusion.


Part 3

Me? Right now, trying to defeat unwanted attention from overly-persistent flies.
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