The Yosemite Un-List

Reading by the river.
Reading books next to rushing water. The best!

Part of the beauty of living in Yosemite is feeling like I have time. There is time to take a short walk to nowhere in particular, breathe deep, and (at the risk of sounding too hippy dippy) just be. I can walk a book out to the edge of a river and spend an afternoon reading without wondering if there was something else that I should have crammed in to my 3-day trip. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

And here’s the thing, there is no way to see everything in Yosemite in 3 days anyway. We moved here in 2003 full time, and there are still so many things that I haven’t seen yet, or want to visit again.

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Plastic into Oil

We have a problem with plastic trash, and a fuel shortage. What if we could just take all that trash and turn it back into fuel? Akinori Ito from the Blest Corporation has figured out a way to turn plastics back into oil, using a tabletop machine that allows you to feed plastics from the … Read more

Learning Interpretation

New things are so interesting! Because Tom is planning to throw his hat in the ring for a seasonal interp ranger position this summer, and I’m doing this NPS volunteer gig at the visitor center, we’ve both gotten exposed to the Interpretation classes provided at Eppley.org. In park parlance, interpretation isn’t translating from one language … Read more

Pumpkin Prince

With Halloween coming up, with the ever-looming prospect of kids with too much candy on their hands, I thought I’d share a brilliant idea that a co-worker told me about. When she was growing up, she and her brother were allowed to eat as much candy as they wanted Halloween night, but then, all the … Read more

Laughter at Work

Today I read a post from an instructor at Where There Be Dragons about 68 reasons that she loves her job. It was a great way to share her love and enjoyment of the places she went, and the people she traveled with. It also made me think of the pictures that I could share about Yosemite and the people here. Someday.

I received an email today from my boss that had the whole office giggling out loud. We had people wandering in from the hallway to tell us that we all seemed to be having too much fun. Really, some funny emails are just worth sharing. If I had a pic of KK crying with laughter, I would put it into my list of reasons why I love my job. It happens pretty often – I’ll get that pic one of these days.

I wish I could figure out who the original author/editor is. The contents of the email is all over the internet, mostly from blogs (like this one) that are posting it up to share, but I have found an attribution. (Interestingly, I usually see it on the internet titled “Random Thoughts” but it has morphed along the way, and by the time we got it, it was “Observations of a modernist on post-modern life”.) Anyway, I hope you enjoy…

Observations of a modernist on post-modern life…

I wish Google Maps had an “Avoid Ghetto” routing option.

More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can’t wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that’s not only better, but also more directly involves me.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong.

I don’t understand the purpose of the line, “I don’t need to drink to have fun.” Great, no one does. But why start a fire with flint and sticks when they’ve invented the lighter?

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The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle boils down to a book about a boy and his dogs. Edgar is born mute, to a family of passionate dog breeders, dedicated to breeding the perfect companions – selecting dogs for certain elusive qualities that make them soulmates – or something else that is just beyond defining. Trouble starts when Edgar’s uncle, Claude, returns to town. Edgar’s father, Gar, dies mysteriously, and then Claude starts to manuver into his place, capturing his mother’s (Trudy) affections. Edgar is forced to run away into the Chequamagon with 3 of his dogs – learning to survive in the woods on his own.

It’s a good read, not the kind of book that I can’t put down at night, but it moved along quickly and easily for a volume or its size. I finished the book tonight, was surprised by the ending, and am still trying to make sense of it. It will be a good book to discuss at our book club, whenever we get around to officially reading that one.

Spoiler Alert: if you don’t care

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Optical Illusions: Seeing isn’t believing

It’s often amazing to me the kinds of shortcuts that our minds take when interpreting the world around us. For the lazy, who won’t click through to the wonderful article in Discover Magazine, the greenish spirals are actually the same color as the bluish spirals. What changes is the color that surrounds it. You can … Read more