Category: Opinion

Prophets Of Doom

Humans across the world have had a stressful time these last 12 months, dealing with the pandemic, and all the economic and social upheaval that has resulted. And these are signs that the world is doomed, according to some religious leaders.

At End Times Prophecy Watch, you can find the latest breaking news, related to the upcoming end of the world. When I reviewed this news, it seems much of it concerns the Covid pandemic.

But are we really heading pell-mell for Hell? I think so. At least eventually—that’s for sure. It seems the prophets of doom have always been right in message, just wrong in timing. Every age has been the end-times, according to doomsayers of every age. So of course, they’ve all had bad timing, with the possible exception of our modern doomsayers.

These days, doomsayers are predicting the demise of the human race from causes such as the following:

The Castle Bravo nuclear bomb test at Bikini Atoll, was one of many signs used by doomsayers in the 1950s, to foretell our extinction by nuclear war.

The Covid pandemic

Global warming

A new ice age

Thermonuclear warfare


Tyrannical governments

Moral degeneration (apparently a threat to humanity in every age)


Genetic engineering


These are just some of the scary signs of our end-times. That Armageddon is nigh at hand. So the question is, are the modern doomsayers right this time, or are they wrong? Will we survive, or will we all perish?

I think they are right. We will all die. Sooner or later. Each in our own time. For the end of the world happens to everybody, eventually. But will we all die at once? Is the human race itself doomed?

Who knows? I can’t predict the future, so I sure can’t tell anyone. I guess it’s easy enough to imagine that any of the above-listed threats could do the human race in. In fact it’s so easy to imagine, many Hollywood writers have already cashed in on these possibilities.

But I do know this. I have seen people at the bottom of the barrel of despair. They’ve seemed to be hopeless cases, sad sacks, real heavy-goers. The end of the world was upon them. And yet they have somehow found their way up and out. They have survived one breath at a time, and stepped one foot at a time through long wilderness journeys, eventually emerging into the open air of sunlight.

And so I know that human beings are smart enough to figure things out. They can convert despair into hope, and transfigure doom into deliverance. And if they’re smart enough to save themselves from disaster, then they can collectively save the world, also. In fact, the world has been saved by such people time and time again, generation after generation. Our presence in this world is living proof of that.

And so I say to the prophets of doom, don’t be fooled by the madness of humans. Have faith in their genius for survival. The end of the world is probably not near, and probably never has been near. This world of humans, or whatever we evolve into, may survive for another 5 billion years, until it is finally swallowed up by the red giant of a dying sun.

And that is when the prophets of doom will finally get their timing right.

Dying In Our Sleep

People have advised me that the best way to die is in my sleep. I’m not sure if they were wishing for my demise, or if they were merely suggesting that if I have a choice—whether to die while awake or die while asleep—I should make the somniterminous choice (that’s a word I made up, by the way).

But is that really good advice? Why would someone who’s enjoying a nice, peaceful sleep want to interrupt their nocturnal pleasure by departing their body and journeying to the Other Side? It’s like the alarm clock going off in the middle of a beautiful dream. Or like being shaken awake by some asshole, just at the good part where you’re about to have sex with a supermodel. That would leave me in a pissed off mood. I’d act like a grump, and then my departed relatives might not be so eager to welcome me.

Anyway, how many people actually die in their sleep? I suspect it’s a lot less than some of us think. After all, heart attacks are very painful. So if someone’s asleep and the BIG ONE hits, the pain is probably going to wake them up. It seems to me like there’s a good chance they’ll be spending a few minutes writhing around in coronary pain before the grim reaper finally hauls them off to the next world.

As for me, I don’t like the somniterminous choice. I want to be wide awake when the time comes. Let my last words be, “OH SHIT!” shouted at the grill of a semi truck, for instance. Then, if there’s an afterlife, I can leave the scene of the accident without having to deal with cops, insurance, or any of that hassle. It would be the ultimate hit-and-run.

I think dying in one’s sleep is overrated. What a boring way to go. As Hunter S. Thompson once advised:

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”

Hunter S. Thompson, by the way, was the original gonzo journalist. The cartoon character, “Uncle Duke,” of Doonsebury, was originally based on him. He lived a wild life, riding with, and writing of, the Hell’s Angels, covering counterculture and Nixon’s 1972 re-election campaign, drinking heavily, doing drugs, shooting off guns, and thumbing his nose at authorities.

But ol’ Hunter couldn’t take aging and bad health. So at age 67, two weeks after football season ended, he shot himself in the head. His suicide note read:

No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun–for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your age. Relax—This won’t hurt.

His funeral was held exactly six months later, on August 20, 2005, with his ashes being fired out of a cannon, accompanied by fireworks. 280 people attended this funeral, including John Kerry, George McGovern, Jack Nicholson, Bill Murray, Sean Penn, and John Oates. Yep, this bastard was well-loved, inspired many, and was not the type to die in his sleep.

I don’t advocate following Hunter’s example. I’m sure I’d wince like hell if I put a gun to my head. But I’m also no fan of dying in my sleep. Just the same, I suspect that’s how it will happen. After we reach a certain age, we can’t protect ourselves from well-meaning young people who haven’t appreciated the deleterious effects of old age. So they insist on incarcerating our enfeebled bodies in nice, safe rest homes, where our half-lives fizzle out into nothing, while we wither away and disappear.

They’ll stave off death at all costs, gavaging medication down our throats, poking us with needles, and performing CPR as needed. And when we’re in that situation, perhaps the only practical escape will be to wait until lights out, pull our covers over our heads, and slip peacefully away into a sleep they can’t shake us out of.

I may not be able to avoid such a fate, because I’m too chicken to shoot myself. But until then, I may look into how I can arrange to have my ashes fired out of a cannon. That’s the least I can do.

The Merits of Apathy

What the inside of my apathetic mind looks like.

I love apathy. Nothing makes my life easier than being around apathetic people. There’s no pressure to conform to a pattern of behavior that matches someone else’s fiercely held values. I can relax, be myself, and live in peace.

Some parts of this world are run by religious fanatics. If you live there, you have to put on a display of faith and devotion so some God-loving asshole doesn’t string you up from a tall tree. What a pain in the neck.

Or, consider the plight of the Palestinians. Jewish settlers strongly believe God has promised them their land. So these poor bastards find themselves displaced and occupied by a hostile force of religious zealots.

And then there are all the fervent Communists and anti-Communists who have been killing each for more than a hundred years, over a political and economic ideal. Their goal of utopia seems to require slaughtering anyone who gets in their way. Which are generally other fanatics and extremists.

I have no problem with people who hold strong convictions. I just want them to be apathetic about it. In other words, I want them to keep their strong convictions cooled down to the point where they won’t try to force others, like me, to go along.

I think apathy is healthy, so I try to be as apathetic as I want others to be. I’ve found it keeps me out of trouble. It also gives me a good out. The things I feel strongly about today may be very different from my convictions in the future. If I’ve committed myself to aggressively pushing my agenda upon others, how can I save face when I want to change my agenda? Hell, I’d feel sheepish if people were asking me why I was no longer trying to convert them.

I’m really trying hard to convince you of the merits of apathy. But then I think, So what? Who cares? What’s it to me? Why should I care if you’re apathetic or not?

I sure hope you’re thinking the same thing about me.

Status Rights

Dead Confederate soldiers. What the hell were these fools fighting for, anyway?

An age-old debate persists as to why the Civil War was fought. Some claim it was over slavery, while others argue it was over state’s rights.

I disagree with the slavery crowd. Most Confederate soldiers were poor white men who couldn’t afford slaves. Why in the hell would they want to take up arms to protect the property of rich plantation owners?

And slaves were competition to white workers. This was one of the more popular appeals made by the Abolition movement. Moral arguments about the cruelty of slavery were not nearly as persuasive to some white folks as was the competition argument.

Slaves worked for free. Therefore, they drove down wages and kept them low for white laborers. So it was in the economic interest of southern whites to end slavery, as this would help drive up wages and improve their employment opportunities.

And yet, white men donned the Confederate uniform and fought to break apart our nation.

So if the preservation of slavery wasn’t their motivation, they had to be fighting for state’s rights. Right?

Well, no, not in my view. After all, who the hell gives a damn about state’s rights? The issue of state’s rights is too wonky for ordinary people to give a shit about. Intellectuals in suits and ties might enjoy verbal jousting over this matter, while slurping down brandies, smoking cigars, and watching the burning embers of a fireplace die out. But I have never observed ordinary, non-political people making a case for state’s rights.

And I’ve never seen anyone pledge their allegiance to my state flag, or to any other. Nor have I ever heard of anyone proclaiming their willingness to lay down their life to protect the sovereignty of their state. It seems to me that nobody gives a flying fuck about their state. Well, except maybe a few Texans.

Who the hell in their right mind would take up arms to protect their state, of all goddamned things? If my state asked me to do this, I’d laugh myself to death. And no way in hell would I serve a cause like that.

So no, I strongly doubt that the Civil War was fought over something as eggheaded and wonkish as state’s rights.

But Confederate soldiers did fight hard and very bravely. Many fell in the battlefield for a cause that maybe they couldn’t quite put their finger on, yet believed in passionately.

My theory is that maybe they were fighting for state’s rights in name only. But in reality, deep in their guts, they were fighting not for state’s rights, but for status rights.

Southern whites during the antebellum days always had one thing going for them. No matter how low their fortunes might become, they could never sink down to the status of black slaves. No matter how piss-poor a white man could be, he could always look over at those slaves picking cotton and say to himself, “At least I’m not as bad off as those poor, miserable fuckers.”

So the thought that the slaves might shed their chains and become equals under the law to whites must have left many whites feeling shook up and irked. They were accustomed to guaranteed socioeconomic status at least one rung above blacks. And they wanted to keep it that way.

Those were the days when men fought duels to the death over insults. Pride and status meant everything, especially to southerners, where it seemed to be ingrained in their culture.

But even today status means a lot to people, and not just to southerners. Status is a basic human need. Your status in your community can help you to be trusted by others. Or distrusted. It can help you to maintain your livelihood. Or it may keep you from being employed. And it can keep you safe from those with vigilante mindsets. Or it can get you beaten to death in a dark parking lot.

People spend thousands of dollars for fancy cars, jewelry, and designer jeans, just to enhance their status. People brag and exaggerate for reasons of status. And sometimes they fight each other viciously and violently when their status is on the line.

Status is damned important to human beings.

When the Civil War ended, the black population of the South immediately rose in status. They could no longer be called slaves. They were no longer cemented to the bottom, as the lowest of the low. In fact, they now had a chance to rise up. Just imagine how insecure white people felt about this.

And so came the birth of the Ku Klux Klan, and other efforts to keep black people under the white people’s heel. The apartheid policies of Jim Crow were all about status. Keep the blacks backwardly educated, in poorly-funded schools. Keep them at the back of the bus. And make them enter public buildings through the back door. Make sure they, and everyone else knows, that their status is always at the back.

In my view, status rights was at the heart of the Civil War, and has also been at the heart of the Civil Rights movement. The racial tensions of the 50s and 60s were all about status. Rosa Parks sat at the front of the bus because she believed her true status was different from that prescribed by law.

The Civil Rights movement helped black people to immensely improve their status in society. And leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr and Barrack Obama have demonstrated the wisdom of accepting black people as equals to whites.

And yet, the black population still suffers from lower socioeconomic status. According to Pacific Standard magazine, “Blacks are nearly three times as likely to be poor as whites, and more than twice as likely to be unemployed. Compared to whites with the same qualifications, blacks remain less likely to be hired and more likely to earn lower wages, to be charged higher prices for consumer goods, to be excluded from housing in white neighborhoods, and to be denied mortgages or steered into the subprime mortgage market.”

It seems that since the heyday of the Civil Rights movement, racial discrimination has become more and more subtle, with carefully engineered deniability. It’s out of sight, yet it still continues. We know, because it’s all right there in the statistics.

So let’s change the debate about race a little. Let’s consider that the Civil War wasn’t really about slavery or state’s rights. When boiled down to its essence, I believe it was about status rights. And the race issues we face today, are also about status rights.

Therefore I will never be convinced that racial discrimination has ended, until one thing happens. Black people and white people must enjoy a similar socioeconomic status. Then, and only then, will I believe that Martin Luther King, Jr’s dream has come true.

Because only then will black people have completely overcome.

Fabric Softener

Many years ago I started doing my own laundry. I got tired of having to ferret through piles of clothes in the garage to find my shirts, jeans, socks, and unmentionables. That was my wife’s system. Clean the clothes, then leave them in a giant pile.

My wife would be happy to do my laundry. She’s very domestic, and not one of those women’s libbers who think that men should do housework, too.

No, but I’m one of those women’s libbers. I liberate her from the cleaning jobs she doesn’t do well at. Which is just about everything.

But as for laundry, she does hers and I do mine. Hers ends up in a mountainous pile. Mine ends up neatly folded and put away.

I try to make the job as easy as possible. So I don’t use extra stuff, like fabric softener. At least not intentionally. However I have used it unintentionally on plenty of occasions. That’s because it looks so much like a bottle of liquid detergent.

Try to guess, which is the detergent, and which is the fabric softener?

Why the hell do women have to have fabric softener? If they want soft fabric, why don’t they just feel the fabric before they buy their clothes? And if fabric softener really worked, clothing could be made of gunny sacks, and be a whole lot cheaper.

I feel the same about anti-cling dryer sheets. I’ve tried them a few times, and yes they do save me from having to unpeel every article of clothing from each other. But half the fun of folding clothes is hearing the frizzle of static electricity, as I exercise my origami skills.

So I don’t use them. Unlike my wife. What’s crazy is that after several rounds in the dryer, these sheets always end up on our garage floor, looking like lifeless lambs, killed by continuous lightning strikes. I find myself picking up these crumpled creatures and tossing them in the trash, because no one else deigns to bend their back.

Why do people use extra little products to get a simple job done? All they do is create confusion and add to their work. I’m a true believer in the KISS method of doing laundry. Keep It Sudsy Stupid. And that’s all you have to do.

And what’s with all the different cycle choices? I always use the Normal Wash cycle. It has never damaged my wool socks or flannel shirts. I refuse to buy any clothing that won’t hold up under a Normal Wash cycle.

My wife does most of the shopping, and she always buys the cheap detergent. That’s the liquid detergent of some brand nobody ever heard of before, and never will again. We’ve had brands with names like Old Nellie’s Froth, Red Tide, and Lye By Night.

There are never any instructions on the bottles concerning the proper amount of detergent to use, for the size of the load. So I usually err on the side of caution and measure out way more than is probably needed. And there goes all the savings from buying the cheap stuff.

But we do save money on detergent in other ways. It all works out in the end. Because I get absent-minded a lot when I do the laundry. And then I end up walking around in smelly but very cuddly clothes.

All because I accidentally grabbed the bottle of fabric softener.

The Once-Forbidden Fruit

I recently visited the state of Colorado, which is one of the first states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. During my peradventure at the high altitudes, I noticed a profusion of advertisements for this leafy product.

This service station in Colorado offers an unusual mix of products.

The ads left me curious. I wanted to try the substance myself. I’ve never smoked marijuana, but there was that one time many years ago when I got a buzz from second-hand fumes. In other words, I’m the opposite of Bill Clinton. I’ve never smoked it, but I have inhaled.

The stuffy relatives I visited were all against grass, and did not like their new, libertine laws, so I decided not to wear out my welcome by experimenting. But in less than six months, recreational marijuana will be available for purchase right here in my great home state of California.

California, you usually lead the way in liberal social trends. What the hell has happened to you? Why have you been lagging so far behind?

But better late than never. In six months I’ll be able to sashay down to a local pot shop and pick up a dose of cannabis, and all in the name of recreation rather than some fake medical excuse.

I suppose if they ever legalize prostitution in Colorado, their service stations can offer gas, grass, and ass.

So now I’m debating internally as to whether or not I should actually try it. Shall I pluck the once-forbidden fruit and consume it? Will it open my eyes? Or will it destroy my personal Eden?

I decided to do some research, and see what the experts have to say about the dangers and benefits from marijuana use. Here’s what I have discovered:

A 3% increase in collision claims has occurred in states that have legalized recreational marijuana. ~ Highway Loss Data Institute.

No significant increase in vehicle accident fatalities. ~ American Journal of Public Health.

Highway fatalities in Colorado are at near historic lows. ~ The Washington Post

Traffic searches by highway patrols in Colorado and Washington dropped by nearly half after the two states legalized marijuana in 2012. ~ NBC News

It’s nice to know you don’t have to buy marijuana in order to get gassed in Colorado.

Casual marijuana use is linked to brain abnormalities. ~ Northwestern University

Marijuana disorients the mind, affects memory, reduces physical coordination, causes rapid heart beat, causes bronchitis and cancer, sterilizes men and disrupts the menstrual cycle of women, deforms sperm cells, and causes birth defects. ~ Foundation for a Drug-Free World

Marijuana improves memory in older mice. ~ University of Bonn, Germany

It’s a myth that marijuana causes sterility, and marijuana has little evidence implicating it in fetal harm, unlike alcohol, cocaine or tobacco. ~

Marijuana is unlikely to cause head, neck, or lung cancer. ~ Daniel E. Ford, MD, John Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore

Continued use of cannabis causes violent behavior. ~ Journal of Psychological Medicine

Legalizing marijuana will eliminate much of the violence and corruption that currently characterizes marijuana markets. ~ Cato Institute

Marijuana use has adverse effects on your aura and soul. ~

Marijuana balances your system, alleviates worry, expands the mind, heightens consciousness, facilitates meditation, improves self-knowledge, and puts us in touch with universal spiritual values. ~

With all the contradictory information and opinions I’ve read from all the above experts, I can only conclude one thing:

They’re all smoking it!

Nice Guys


(A fictional account. So far.)

He could have saved the world today. But he didn’t. He could have reached over and grabbed the hand of that officer sitting next to him, before he made the fatal move. But that’s not the kind of guy he was.

No, in fact he was just like that officer. A nice guy. He made no waves. He respected authority and did what he was told. He complied with the established order. He lived his life trying to be as normal and humdrum as possible, in his every thought and action.

He was very nice.

So when the order came down to launch the preemptive nuclear strike, and he saw that the officer sitting next to him was going to comply with that order, he froze. In his mind, just for a split-desperate-second, he grabbed the officer by the arm and wrestled him to the floor. And saved the world. And his family. And himself.

But he quickly rejected that thought and braced himself for inevitable annihilation. Because he was just too nice a guy to do anything else.

Just like all the other nice guys who responded to orders today without question, but instead with a “Yes sir” or “Yes ma’am”.

And that is how the world came to an end today. Not at the hands of bad guys.

But at the hands of nice guys.

Down and Out

My down comforter has leaked feathers for years, gradually losing its amazing thermal insulating power. I didn’t want to endure another winter of freezing my unmentionables off, so I went online in search of a new comforter.

That’s when I discovered something very discomfiting.

Bald geese.

A goose that has been live-plucked.

A goose that has been live-plucked.

Bloody, bald geese. Geese that have been live-plucked for their downy feathers.

There’s a movement afoot to discourage people from buying down products. Animal rights activists claim that most of the down we get from geese is harvested using a method called live-plucking. You can read more about it by clicking here.

A goose is held down and sometimes tied up, and then it’s feathers are plucked until the goose is bald and bleeding. Often the flesh is ripped open from the plucking, and then sewn back shut with a straight needle. No anasthesia or pain killer is given the poor, suffering goose.

If you’re not too squeamish, and have already eaten breakfast, try watching this video produced by PETA. It shows live-plucking in action.

IKEA and Patagonia are two businesses that no longer use down in their products, due to their opposition to live-plucking. But many companies continue to use and sell down products. I wonder if they’re hoping the general public won’t catch on to the animal cruelty we finance when we buy their feathery merchandise.

The good news is, there are plenty of excellent synthetic alternatives to down.

My research discovered the best substitute is Primaloft. Primaloft was developed by the U.S. Army in the 1980’s. It possesses nearly the same insulating power as down, and retains 96% of its insulating capability when wet. Down, on the other hand, is useless when wet.

Primaloft is also lightweight. But I must concede, it does not seem quite as lightweight as down. Just the same, it sure can take a heavy burden off your conscience.

A good Primaloft comforter also costs less than a good down comforter. I bought one for about $150.

I used it for the first time a few nights ago, when winter got into a battle with our late-summer weather, and sent us a crushing cold front. I slept cozy as a coyote. In fact I had to stick my legs out, to keep the prickly heat away.

Down is down and out, on my shopping list. I can’t get the image of bloody honking geese out of my head. But at least I can sleep better knowing that perhaps a few less geese will be tortured, due to my recent buying decision.

The F-Word

The bard.

The bard used the F-word. But in those days it meant something completely different. And if rumors about Shakespeare are true, I doubt he’d ever use that word today.

I haven’t used the F-word in many years. But there was a time when I thought nothing of deploying it. It fell from my lips as easily as any other slang in common usage.

I remember my classmates and I freely and frequently speaking this word in elementary school. We used it on the playground. We used it in the classroom. We used it in front of our teachers. Hell, sometimes even our teachers would utter this epithet.

Nobody thought it was that bad of a word. But it could occasionally incite an angry exchange or even a fistfight. It was used to playfully or maliciously put someone down–especially other males. It often peppered the badinage and persiflage of our masculine repartee.

I continued to use the F-word after entering adulthood. But I found myself feeling less and less comfortable with it. When other adults used it, they seemed to color it with a tinge of hatred and contempt. I guess I didn’t share their level of contempt.

One day I used the F-word while speaking with someone whom I held in great esteem. He responded with a long silence. I felt puzzled and a little embarrassed. I knew he didn’t live that kind of lifestyle. He wasn’t one of “them”. So why the silent treatment?

But he knew others who lived that way. And as I opened my eyes and mind, I realized I did too. And these were folks who were like anybody else, except for that lifestyle. Most of them were honest, considerate and, like all of us, they were smart in their own way. And their “lifestyle” usually wasn’t much different from the rest of us.

So I stopped using the F-word. I don’t like the banning of words. My mind bristles when people try to tell me what I cannot say. I think that’s natural. We all love freedom of speech. But there are some words that have been used for generations to fuel hatred and justify violence.

You may have already guessed that the F-word I’m referring to is not the four-letter one. Hell no. I love that fucking word. It adds color, character, and emphasis to our language, and enjoys special status in the cockles of my heart. No, this particular F-word is either three or six letters long. At one time it referred to firewood and cigarette butts. But nowadays it’s an unambiguous hate-language word, and reflects bigotry and ignorance.

Those who have used this word have unwittingly or wittingly fueled the hatred that has contributed to the violent deaths of many innocents. Matthew Shepard met such a demise in Wyoming in 1998, at the age of 21. He’d been pistol-whipped, tortured, and tied to a barbed wire fence.

And just last year, on November 1st, gay rights activist George Zander was beaten to death in Palm Springs, California. That’s only a few miles from where I live, for God’s sake. He was the victim of an alleged hate crime. Local news reports describe him as having been a wonderful, well-liked human being. He was even honored posthumously with a star on Palm Springs’ famous Walk of Stars.

And then there was the Orlando nightclub shooting this last Sunday. Dozens of other wonderful, well-liked human beings perished at the hands of a man who hated their sexual orientation. I suspect this man both heard and used the F-word many times in his life. When he heard others casually flinging this term around, did it make violence seem okay for him? How could it not?

So for me, the F-word is out of my vocabulary. I want to avoid contributing to the violent deaths of innocent people.

Because that would just be too fucked up.

Ancient Hike

I took a walk through history the other day. Actually, it was just another hike. But aren’t all hikes through the wilderness a walk through history? This virgin desert hasn’t changed much from the way it was hundreds, or even thousands of years ago. It looks the same, smells the same, and even sounds the same, except for the occasional passing airplane.

Once you get past the cities and campgrounds, things haven't changed much over the past several thousand years.

Once you get past the cities and campgrounds, things haven’t changed much over the past several thousand years.

It tastes the same, too, if you’re as brave as me, and willing to sample some of the herbivorous offerings growing underfoot. It’s never killed me to do this, which is a little surprising.

Purple Sage is blooming this Spring--one of my favorite wildflowers. If Prince had ever seen this flower, I'll bet his famous song would have been given a slightly different name.

I call this Purple Sage, even though it’s blue. But there are many different sages called Purple Sage, so I have license. It’s one of my favorite wildflowers. If Prince had ever seen this flower, I’ll bet his famous song would have been given a slightly different name.

The ancients who hiked these hills before me had the same kind of worries, too. After all, I take care to avoid stepping on serpents, just like they did. But one of these days a rattler’s gonna get me, I’m sure. I’ve come close a few times, but so far the vipers have kept their fangs to themselves.

I can’t say the same for the two-legged vipers I’ve encountered, in that place we call civilization. But even the ancients had to deal with scoundrels within and without their tribes.

Bees love Purple Sage, also.

Bees love Purple Sage, also.

I’d sure like to get to know these ancestors. But the closest I can come is to walk through the same wilds they walked, and stomp the same hills, and keep the same watchful eye for buzzworms.

I wonder what they considered their reason for living? I doubt it was to be my progenitors, though that would be flattering. I’ll bet they, like us, could not quite put their finger on it. Everyone probably had their own theory.

This rock is so old, it's developed wrinkles.

This rock is so old, it’s developed wrinkles.

The purpose of life, according to my finger, is just to experience life itself. There’s no life in boredom, pain, or endless hard labor. That’s death, in my book. So I try to avoid those things. And when I do, what’s left is simply life itself, with its purpose automatically fulfilled.

I wonder just how old my theory is. How many ancients, who walked these hills, would have agreed with me?