over the hills, and far away












The man who sinks his pick axe into the ground wants that stroke to mean something. The convict’s stroke is not the same as the prospector’s, for the obvious reason that the prospector’s stroke has meaning and the convict’s stroke has none.
Prison is not a mere physical horror. It is using a pick axe to no purpose that makes a prison; the horror resides in the failure to enlist all who swing the pick in the community of mankind. We all yearn to escape from prison.

–Antoine de Saint-Exupery


“The hermit contemplates nature, uses what he needs of it, but cherishes no notions to subdue it. …The hermit agrees to be henceforth weightless in the workings of the world, no longer counting as anything in the chain of causality. His thoughts will not influence anyone, or affect the course of events. His actions signify nothing. How light that thought is! And how clearly it foretells the final release: we are never so alive as when we are dead to the world!” –Sylvain Tesson

In Wyoming’s Northern Absarokas, weather comes from the west. All winter long, snow piles on; wind sweeps the west side bare, and loads the east side into ponderous cornices. Traveling along these snowbound ridgelines can be nice and smooth: a ribbon of white that rolls along, indifferent to the obstacles of the steep mountainsides below. It also has its own dangers.

As the wind-deposited snow on the leeward side of the ridge becomes heavier, taking the shape of a breaking wave, it wants to rip free. A crack will form over the apex of the earthen ridge, which is hidden somewhat windward of the top of the cornice. This crack is usually covered with snow, but not enough to hold a person’s weight. It is not uncommon to plunge into one. Fortunately, they are not often very deep.

Other times, the crevasse is exposed.

Large, exposed crevasses are unusual. Usually, if the crack gets this wide, the cornice is breaking off altogether and now trundling down the mountain. The explanation for this extremely large crevasse is anticlimactic. A low-angle shoulder of the ridge caught the cornice before it could roll away.


The video advertisement before the video will play, but the video will not.
The video advertisements between the paragraphs of the article, and along the side bars, make the page freeze so that I can’t read the article.
What does this bumper sticker mean: “BE A MAN AMONG MEN” (image: a machine gun)?
How can something so nonsensical also be so objectionable?
Why hasn’t anyone started a group yet: “Hunters Against the NRA?”
In bold print, all of the cans of polyurethane say “Quick Drying.” The fine print on the one that I bought defines “Quick” as 48 hours. Other cans consider 2 hours to be quick. I only read the bold print, and that means that getting three coats on our floors requires all our things piled into half our house for a week rather than a single afternoon.
I finally met the dog that digs holes in our garden and poops in our lawn. He was so friendly, all I did was pet him.
I’ve tried a hundred different ways, but, even with a whole day in front of you, there’s not enough time to do nothing and get things done.


if the death of your civilization precedes you