Tag Archives: Writing

Tinder

I was in a different world
just five minutes ago:
asleep, a-slumber, a slipping away
to the very edges of my brain.
Now, all yawning-mouthed and bleary-eyed,
I’m home in My Spot,
in the campfire ring of my soul,
trying to get this page to ignite.

Too Much Man for my Keens

If this was Hollywood, mine would be a story of triumph; of one man besting Big Business with nothing but his burly manliness, sweaty back, and slightly hairy feet.

Alas, this is Wistucky; Hear my tale of woe.

This love-story-gone-bad started in March with a trip to REI. I needed a new pair of sun-and-water shoes so that I could fully embrace my neon-whiteness on an upcoming trip to Florida.

Hey, look! Keens! I have friends who have those! They look neat! They’re expensive; they must be high-quality! I’m shopping in REI, and therefore must use exclamation marks!

The Keens came home with me. They were tight and hard to get on. Don’t worry, little buddy, I told myself. They’ll break in jus’ fine.

I wore my Keens around Disney World for a couple days. I’m pretty sure their comfy soles and bright blue straps are one of the few reasons you didn’t hear about my trip on the news. Then I took ’em to Cape Canaveral. They were right at home with the Shuttle Atlantis, but I think the Atlas rocket was a little jealous of my foot gear. Next, I plunged the ol’ Keens into the Gulf of Mexico, and followed that up with a little Atlantic Ocean body surfing. Gotta get those bad boys broken in right, you know?

Over the past couple of months, I’ve taken to biking in my Keens, too. Both on and off-road, up to about seven hours at a crack (hey, it takes a while to ride 100 miles, doncha know?). They’re just ridiculously comfy on the road, and grippy enough for the rough stuff, too. In fact, I’ve been seriously considering making my first pair of clipless shoes some SPD-compatible Keens.

Last week, though, I took my Keens to the B-dub. That’s the “Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness” for those of you not on the down-low with the backwoods parlance.  It’s 1.1 million acres of human-powered-only lakes, rivers, deep forests in northern Minnesota. It’s gorgeous. It’s bad-ass.

It kills Keens.

To be sure, I didn’t do a real close inspection of my Keens before I chose ’em as my only footwear for a week of trekking and fishing. I figured “Hey, they’re just getting broken in and feeling really good. They’re still pretty new. What could go wrong?”

Oh, how naive I was.
Keen stitching blowoutAfter five days of portages, mud, rain, and sun, the Keens have blown out. The stitching holding the toe box to the ankle strap on both sides of both feet has given up. The sandals are fraying and seem like they’re gonna let go at any point.

I know that REI will stand behind this sale and replace the Keens for me (after I drive 8 hours round trip to make the swap; boo!), but I really wish they didn’t have to.

Stitching on both sides of the Keens is goingI have friends who have put their Keens through the ringer for several years, and they’re just fine (the shoes; the friends are generally a little “touched.” That’s how I like ’em.).

I don’t know if I just got a bum pair of Keens, or what, but I’m pretty disappointed. I was hoping to have a pair of easy-to-wear, can-take-the-abuse adventure shoes. Instead, I got some namby-pamby suburban adventure-type loafers.

It’s fair to say I’m Keen-ly disappointed.

Sorry; I couldn’t help myself there.

Objective media is bullshit, and that’s ok

or, why Fox News might not be *so* bad

We’ve all heard a lot about “media bias” lately, and that’s a really tricky — and incredibly important — topic.

We can all agree that it’s good to know what’s going on in the world, and to base decisions on information that is as accurate as possible. We can also probably agree that by increasing the accuracy of our information, we inherently increase it’s complexity. Along the way, we each reach the point of information saturation and stop trying to drink directly from the fire hose. Instead, we start looking for someone else who’s willing to aggregate, analyze, and compress information for us. Enter the media.

Let’s face facts: there’s no such thing as “objective journalism.” Every camera is pointed in some direction. Every video is edited. Every reporter, editor, and producer acts as a filter for the information they pass along. There is, however, plenty of room for the ideas – and practices! – of fairness (give all sides of an issue equal opportunity to make their case) and accuracy (tell it like it is, without spin, and fer Pete’s sake, check the facts!) in the media.

So where does that leave us? With a whole lot of sources of information that each have a particular slant and “flavor.” Are these sources biased? Uh, yeah. Is that a bad thing? Not as long as they try to be fair and accurate.

We’re all big boys and girls and can deal with bias. The evil that we really need to guard against is two-faced: On one side is compromised journalism (media not being fair and accurate); on the other is external control of the press (via consolidation, legislation, or intimidation).

This morning, Will Bunch at Philly.com has this to say about journalistic objectivity and claims of bias in the press:

“…my personal belief that the greatest role for journalists is not to make sure that every story has 50 percent of one side and 50 percent of the other side – but that the vital function for reporters is to preserve democracy and the freedom of the press, because without those freedoms a valid media would cease to exist. Yes, they’re voicing outrage today inside the sacred sanctuary of the Temple of Objective Journalism , where the celebrants nervously fingered their rosaries rather than confront the Constitutional bonfire that was building outside.

“But for eight years now, there’s been an out-of-control fire raging outside of that temple – a fire that was built upon the USA Patriot Act and Guantanamo and rendition and torture and signing statements and 16 words in a State of the Union Address. Ultimately, saving the last fabric of democracy is more important than worrying about what contrived commandments of journalism were stepped on while the blaze was finally extinguished.

“I myself would call it truth-telling, and honest journalism, but now we have some who want to call it ‘media bias.’ That’s fine with me, but understand this.

“’Media bias’ may have just saved America .

Read the rest of Will’s post…

Down-n-back

I just bopped down to the Cities last night and came back this morning. My mom is working on a play, and had a reading at a local playwright’s workshop. Some local actors came in and read the parts, then they and the audience members gave mom a whole bunch of feedback on what worked and what needs work.

It was pretty neat to see that sort of creative give-and-take happening live and unrehearsed right there in front of me. I took some pics, but they’re barely usable. What did I expect, holding the camera for 1.5 second exposures of moving people. I mean, seriously.

Tryin’ to sit this bronc

I really *want* to be a good blogger. I’d *like* to post regular witty thingamajigs that keep you entertained – maybe even laughing – while (hopefully) shining a little beam of insight into the nooks of life. But that’d mean…you know…actually posting regular, insightful, entertaining material.

I figure I’ll maybe start like Jerry Seinfeld and publish this post about nothing, then go on to something from there. After all, sometimes you just have to start.