Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Walk #215: Alone...

A nurse told me this joke the other day: "How does a Buddhist order a hot dog?"

The answer: "Make me one with everything".

Every few years a friend or relative sends a last minute e-mail that goes something like this: "I'm gonna be in Los Angeles next week. Is that near you? We could get together." Of course, Los Angeles is a good eight hour drive away from me.

Midwesterners tend to think that California is about the size of Rhode Island. Step foot in the State and you must be close to me.

Tonight I got an e-mail from a cousin. They said they were visiting and they were free tonight if I wanted to come over. They are four hours away in San Francisco (attending a convention). After trying to put some schedules together, it turns out there won't be time for a visit.

Too bad.

That is what I thought about on my walk tonight. What it is like to be an emigrant, far away from family and your space of origin. A self imposed California exile. Why? Cause I like it here.

But sometimes I miss seeing my quirky, weird, stoic Norwegian relatives with their lefsa, funny accents, leutefisk and stubbornly pietistic ways.


Ian Woofenden said...

I'm burning the candle at both ends here in Colorado, but it's great that I can commute by bike. It's a mile from my lodging house to the classroom where I'm teaching, and another mile into town for meals. After class last night I was so fried I didn't go into town for dinner, but snacked at home, and the leftovers from the groceries I bought for lunch. So 4 miles.

Allan, I love the elegance of walking, and would love to live in a place where that was sufficient because things were close together. But for overall efficiency and practicality, it's hard to beat a bicycle in today's society -- it covers so much more ground and allows us to carry stuff. Next year: 365 bike rides? ;-)

Allan Stellar said...


That is quite true. Although I think you are better at carrying stuff on a bike. I am much too clumsy. :)

I think you are proving the effectiveness of using a bike. How's that article coming?

And yes, next year it will be 365 Bike Rides, Walks and Runs. The Triathlon of Human Powered Out
Door Recreation. Sort of the punt, pass and kick of Bipedal Green Transportation. :)

Ian Woofenden said...

Hi Allan,

Carrying stuff on a bike is an art form. ;-) I have a dream rack I want to build that is a box for tossing stuff in, but also folds out into a flatbed. It must also have places for replaceable bumper stickers. ;-)

No movement on article, but growing desire.

Yesterday I did about 10 miles between lodging, classroom, town, and campus. Great to be able to spend the week with almost no car use -- two tours out of reach of bikes, and with 23 students -- or at least no use of my own or a rental car.

Left the lodgings early yesterday for breakfast with a colleague and got home quite late after a great visit with another colleague/friend. The candle is getting shorter...