Out of Office: Zion & Bryce Edition

Bryce-Canyon-11Ok, I know, I just got back from a trip!

Well, it turns out that after having gotten waterlogged, diving in the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean off of northern California a few weeks ago, I need to go to the desert to dry out and warm up.

Zion & Bryce Canyon National Parks, here I come!!!

It’s also a milestone trip for my family, as it will be the first time my wife and I have traveled anywhere of significance without our son, whom, at 17.5-years of age, is going through a fairly typical, if hard to accept, preference for spending time with his girlfriend and other friends.

Things will be quiet here at Fish & Bicycles until after we return on May 23rd, so, while I’m gone, if you’re so inclined, please feel free to browse around in any of the following ways:

  • Tags: In the sidebar, under Stuff About…, you can click on any of the Tags and see all the posts I’ve done that have at least something to do with those topics.
  • Recurring Series: At the top of the page, hover over the Recurring Series drop-down menu and select from options like Celebrating Progress, which applauds businesses adopting sustainable practices; Eyecatchers, a collection of photos, graphics, and videos that have, well, caught my eye; Video Fridays, my favorite video of the week pick; and more.
  • Archives: Towards the bottom of the sidebar, select a specific month to see everything I posted in that time period.

Cheers!

Video Fridays: R.I.P., B.B. King

BB_KingI can think of no simpler and better way to sum up why B.B. King, who has sadly left us, so completely deserved his nickname, King of the Blues, than to point out that when I and millions of people around the world think of the blues, the sound we hear in our heads is B.B. King.

B.B. was the quintessential bluesman: raised a sharecropper on a cotton plantation, he knew and lived the hard life that is the very heart of the blues. Fortified by the gospel tradition, inspired by the blues from the very first time he heard it on the radio, he taught himself how to play the guitar, spent his Saturday afternoons, when done with work, busking and honing his craft, and was finally able to leave the plantation thanks to relentless touring on the Chitlin’ Circuit.

Though he was unsuccessful in marriage — two failed 8-year stints, 15 children with 15 women — by all accounts he was a very warm, friendly, and generous person, beloved by all of the musicians who were fortunate enough to know him and/or share the stage with him.

Beyond the sound that I hear in my head, as a musician myself, when I think of B.B. King I think of the depth of his immersion in the music, the visceral feeling he could wring out of his instruments, both guitar and voice, and the visual component, the wonderful facial expressions he’d make as he performed evidence that he was totally committed to authenticity. He also smiled a lot, and the overall impression, as you watch him play, is that he felt deep gratitude and joy for his livelihood as a musician.

I have the closest, personal connection with his biggest hit, The Thrill Is Gone, as I’ve performed it in several bands that I’ve been in. I love minor key blues!

And so, without further ado, here’s this week’s Video Fridays installment.

R.I.P., B.B., thanks SO much for your wonderful music, and Happy Weekend, everyone!

Headline of the Day: Frog Porn

woodfrogI really don’t think that a person necessarily has to have some kind of kinky fetish in order to read today’s Headline of the Day and find that they can’t NOT read the article:

Wood Frog Mating Is A Wet, Competitive Orgy

THROB

Then again, if a person regularly reads a blog titled THROB — and really, I don’t, really, this post just came up in a news-reading app that I use! — which offers multiple posts about animal sex, maybe this person does have a kinky fetish.

I DON’T!!!

Regardless, in the event that you didn’t feel compelled to click on the link above and read the post, it really is a pretty straightforward biology lesson, however suggestive, with, um, juicy details like…

For a male the whole goal of this competition is to get on a female’s back and stay there. Hooking his arms under hers in a characteristic hold called “amplexus”, he may hang onto her for more than 24 hours, squirting out sperm as she lays an enormous mass of eggs.

Hmmmmm. Amplexus. Interesting!

California Coast With Thistle

thistle2

Screw The “Bernie Sanders Can’t Win” Narrative!!!

bernieLONG before Bernie Sanders had even officially announced, on April 29, 2015, that he was running for President of the United States, it was declared that he has no real chance of winning.

Googling around for just a few minutes, I found the following, charting the course from “Long-Shot Candidate” to “No-Chance Candidate”:

  • November 15, 2013: Bernie hints that he might run.
  • November 30, 2013: Bernie included in NPR‘s list of potential “long-shot” 2016 presidential candidates.
  • March 6, 2014: Bernie says he might run for president in an interview in The Nation.
  • April 12, 2014: The Boston Globe writes, “His chances of winning the nomination would be rated as slim, at best…”
  • June 3, 2014: Even liberal Salon.com declares that a possible Sanders 2016 campaign would be a “waste of time”.
  • April 29, 2015: Bernie officially declares his candidacy.
  • April 30, 2015: Newsweek headline: “He Won’t Win, So Why Is Bernie Sanders Running?”

And, when I talk to my fellow liberals/progressives, I’m saddened to find that most of them agree that Bernie is unelectable: he’s too old, too white, too socialist, too vocally anti-big-money, etc.

Bernie is SO right in that quote above! People have given up, convinced that the political deck is stacked against them, writing off worthy candidates like Bernie, or Dennis Kucinich before him, because these candidates are labeled as “unelectable” before they are even candidates, third party candidates aren’t invited to debates and they are marginalized by claims that they will be nothing more than spoilers, billions of dollars are pumped into Republican and Democrat campaigns, making it difficult for candidates not beholden to big money to run an effective campaign, etc.

And yet, despite all the nay-saying, Bernie insists that he is a serious candidate, that he means to win, that he refuses to take money from Wall Street and corporate interests, his website prominently displays this:

bernie2

…and still he raised $3million from small donors in the first four days of his campaign!

As of today, one of those small donors is me.

Screw The “Bernie Sanders Can’t Win” Narrative!!!

Video Fridays: The Inflated Animals Of Rollin’ Wild

meerkatsForgive me, readers, for I have…

…well, I don’t buy all that stuff about sin, so…

Forgive me, readers, for it’s been over a week since my last post. (Yeah, that feels better.)

As I mentioned in that post, I took off last Thursday on my annual road-trip/camping/abalone-diving adventure, which was awesome as usual, but I came down with a nasty cold on my way back, and that was decidedly not awesome.

Anyway, it’s great to get back to my Fish & Bicycles thing, and I’ve got a very fun Video Fridays installment for you this week!

As I was lying in my sick bed, my wife showed me a video to cheer me up, and it was remarkably successful.

I’ve seen lots of cartoons with animals, in both traditional and computer animation, and of course the African animal kingdom got the full-on Disney treatment with The Lion King. So, you might think I’ve seen it all.

And yet, the folks at Rollin’ Wild have put SUCH a fun spin on the subject that I found myself utterly engaged and gratefully chuckling.

The spin? Well, the animators simply ask the question: What if animals were round?

Enjoy, and Happy Weekend, everyone!

Out of Office: AbaloneFest 2015 Edition

diver
Me, at AbaloneFest 2011
Back in May 2011, I wrote about an epic road trip I experienced with some guy friends, driving from here in Bellingham, Washington to Mendocino, California and back in one long weekend. The occasion was my first ever AbaloneFest: a weekend of camping and merry-making and diving for abalone.

I made the trip again and posted about it in 2013, missed AbFest 2014, but today I hit the road, headed for this year’s festivities.

And, it couldn’t come at a better time. I’ve been feeling in a bit of rut lately, getting worn down by the day-to-day grind of work and other routines.

It’s tremendously therapeutic, taking a break like this, having concentrated time with friends, traveling through less-familiar landscapes, enjoying extended contact with and connection to nature, relaxing, and even reveling.

As a result, though, things will be quiet here at Fish & Bicycles.

While I’m gone, if you’re so inclined, please feel free to browse around in any of the following ways:

  • Tags: In the sidebar, under Stuff About…, you can click on any of the Tags and see all the posts I’ve done that have at least something to do with those topics.
  • Recurring Series: At the top of the page, hover over the Recurring Series drop-down menu and select from options like Celebrating Progress, which applauds businesses adopting sustainable practices; Eyecatchers, a collection of photos, graphics, and videos that have, well, caught my eye; Video Fridays, my favorite video of the week pick; and more.
  • Archives: Towards the bottom of the sidebar, select a specific month to see everything I posted in that time period.

Cheers!