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Camp Dick

Started: 2004-06-05 07:38:00

Submitted: 2004-06-05 08:36:00

Visibility: World-readable

Location: N 40°07.747' W 105°31.154' (Camp Dick site 5)

Wednesday night I went to my parents' house to organize my collection of junk still in their basement. My mother pointed me to a collection of camping fuel in the garage and said I could take whatever I wanted. That inspired me: Gem and I should go car camping this weekend, especially since it's the only weekend in June that's not already booked. (Next weekend we'll be in College Place, Washington for Tristan's graduation.) I suggested the idea to Gem and she thought it was an excellent idea. I even convinced her to pack stuff for us.

In the basement, I decided I didn't really need Ganges (a 486 I used as a server as a senior in high school and also as x13's DNS server in 1999 and 2000) or a pair of Winterms I picked up in the basement of Rigby Hall or some other junk. Sorting through my boxes went well; Mom didn't realize how many of them were empty.

Thursday evening the thought crossed my mind to attend Hacking Society, but I wanted to do my laundry first. (It was in desperate need of attention.) I ended up screwing my schedule; I put in three loads at various times and realized at 2030 that I was quickly running out of daylight if I wanted to go geocaching. (Since recovering my GPS from Humblik on Tuesday, I cached every night.) I also wanted to acquire some maps of our target camping area, and bug repellent couldn't hurt. I scurried off to REI in Boulder, arrived twelve minutes before closing at 2100, found the maps I wanted (I was really feeding my map addiction, if you must know), and acquired some toxic Deet in a handy spray bottle.

Despite the fact that it was 2100 and good and dark, I still wanted to cache. Armed with a Maglight, I headed to a cache north of Boulder that I was able to locate, in the dark, without difficulty.

On my way home, I listened to my mother's favorite radio program, Fresh Air, on NPR. (Since none of my loyal readers are aware of the sarcasm, I'll point out that my mother can't stand Terry Gross' voice for some reason that's not apparent to me.) Ms. Gross was interviewing Tom Fieldman, a columnist for some major newspaper, about outsourcing (the first half of the program) and the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. Prior to the invasion, Mr. Friedman thought that a properly-reconstructed Iraq would be the first step towards a peaceful and balanced middle east, which would be the only real way we could keep Muslim extremists from trying to kill us all, short of following Israel's lead and building a security barrier to keep the undesirable elements out of our country. Since news of the Abu Grabe prison scandal broke, however, Mr. Friedman has become convinced that the Bush administration has become more interested in maintaining the support of its hard-line conservative base and winning re-election than actually doing what's right for Iraq.

I was impressed -- it was the first time I listened to someone talk about Iraq and agreed with every word he said. I may become a Friedman acolyte now.

(One thing those involved in the debate over outsourcing forget is that, before India, phone tech support was already outsourced to the middle of nowhere in the United States. Sykes had a massive operation in Milton-Freewater, Oregon, just across the state line from College Place. Sykes set up there because there were no competing jobs and cost of living was low enough that they could get away with paying their call center drones next to nothing (by average North American standards). I TiVoed Mr. Friedman's documentary on outsourcing; I'm interested to watch it.)

Yesterday evening, Gem and I found one of the few remaining camp sites at Camp Dick, conveniently outfitted with carefully-raked gravel on the tent pad. (I almost felt like I were in a Zen garden.) I fired up the camp stove Gem got for Christmas and was pleased to see that I could coerce it into working.

My plan for today is to hike to two caches in the vicinity, which should be interesting. The thought crossed my mind to drop in on Bethany at Glacier View Ranch, the local Adventist summer camp, a few kilometers down the road. Bethany is going to be a counsellor this year; this week was staff orientation.

I think I'll contemplate breakfast now.