Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Definitions: Supper


The big meal that comes some time after lunch.

It's even better than lunch because, though you might stop during the middle of a nice day and eat lunch, when you stop for supper you usually won't be moving your legs again for several hours. Voluntarily.

To be even more clear, supper time is when you get to pig out and then immediately crawl into bed and snore mightily, with abandon.

Supper is often the high point of the day, a realization you come to after several long days or weeks on the trail when you begin to appreciate the validity of the term "hiker midnight" (a.k.a., 9:00 p.m.).

Even without being excessively hungry, a backpacker can learn to look forward to supper with growing love and anticipation because it marks the end of the day and a chance to just stop all the damn walking and lie down and be unconscious for a while.


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Me? Recently told that I'm not the most important person in the world. News to me.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Definitions: Woods


(1) Plural of wood, which is a hard, fibrous substance found inside trees, and is not good to eat. Why anyone ever looked inside a tree for food is unknown.

(2) More than one wood, in the sense of many, as in many trees gathered together for weddings, funerals, or to plan attacks on nearby villages, after which they customarily feast on the dead.

(3) A small forest, usually no taller than ankle-height, especially if you are very tall.

(4) Weald, wold, woodland, timberland, copse, woodlot, etc. I.e., only stuff that creepy boring old guys would find interesting, even a little.

(5) Natural habitat of the bushwhacker, a rarely seen biped having a thick neck and powerful arms that it uses to tussle with and whack shrubbery, its natural enemy. Often travels armed.

The bushwacker is sometimes referred to as the "neck of the woods", because of its identifying feature, though its monobrow is also pronounced, as is its attraction to neckties hand-painted with pictures of fish or many-antlered animals.

The bushwhacker is frequently mistaken for sasquatch (bigfoot), or the orangutan (hairy wild man of the woods), but these latter two are exclusively quiet deep-forest creatures who spend their days obsessively picking lint from mosses and lichens, while the bushwacker is not at all indisposed to cavorting in glades and napping in warm sunny spots when fatigue overtakes it, when not shooting at random things.

The orangutan is also confined to the tropics, while the sasquatch, of more temperate zones, is easily recognized by its haggard, careworn appearance due to an inability to successfully negotiate a satisfactory contract with any of the reality television companies.

However, all three of these creatures should be regarded as dangerous because of their wild, savage, and untamed natures, which keep them forever reckless and ungovernable, liable at any moment to tear at things with their great, sturdy teeth. Approach with caution, or not at all. And it is advisable to never, ever point at any of them while snickering.


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Me? Still trying to get the splinters out of my teeth.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Definitions: Hoop Tent

Hoop Tent

(1) The place you are sent when you can't keep quiet.

Inside this device, you can hoop and holler all you want without bothering the chipmunks, even if outside you're just another loud jerk.

This might seem impossible from a structure made of fabric and a few bent lengths of fiberglass rod or aluminum tubing, but it turns out that the entire structure is tunable, and when you get the right number of hoops in place, with the right spacing between them, you can either amplify or hush any sounds inside the structure, and block any and all sounds from outside, which is darn amazing.

This means that the hoop tent is an especially good choice for mechanically-adept light sleepers with at least a moderately good ear (for the tuning part).

And it gets better.

This tunability extends beyond the range of hearing into the sub-quantum meta-aural bands, which allows you to bring in baseball broadcasts from the 1930s (when conditions are right), to control the local weather (but only to make it worse, unfortunately), and, to some extent, to affect the price of canned cat food (if bought in bulk).

(2) A tent of ancient design, handed down through thousands of generations within the tradition of the Hoo-Pal peoples of northeastern South Cattledonia, known for their acute sense of design, clever and nimble fingers, and ability to make entirely modern looking structures from lizard skin and giant bat ribs.

The first European explorers were dumbfounded by the sturdy but backpackable tent-like structures ("hooples") they found erected everywhere, but their favorite was named after the ancient local god, Maht (or Maht-Tha).

This was the origin of the sturdy four-season shelters we now know as "Mott-The Hooples".

These days these structured are generally called just hoop tents, and consist of one largish hemispherical swatch of fabric stretched over several flexible bent arches or hoops. Pretty cool, eh?


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Me? Just woke up alone, with a note pinned to my face. Just one word on it: "Nope." No idea what that's about.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Definitions: Gaia Theory

Gaia Theory

The Gaia Hypothesis really. Not actually a theory. A theory explains facts, is testable, can be used to make accurate predictions. A hypothesis is more of a speculation, an educated guess, a sort of "what-if" kind of daydream, possibly based on facts. A thought nudge.

Gaia's real home was in ancient Greek mythology, where she was a big player. Her name meant "land" or "earth" (hint, hint), and she was said to be the ancestral mother of all life. Gave birth to lots of things, some pleasant and some not, and so on, as if you couldn't guess.

Anyhoo, the Gaia Theory-Hypothesis was proposed by Lynn Margulis (chemist) and James Lovelock (microbiologist), who speculated that the earth might be a self-regulating system, that all living organisms plus all inorganic material on the planet are part of one dynamic whole, a meta-organism that self-regulates and maintains conditions which support all life.

So it's probably a good idea to stay on its good side if you want to keep breathing. Just saying.


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Me? Thinking of becoming a god. Might be fun for a while.