Monday, April 30, 2018

Hilton Head Island: Marshall 'Major' Taylor; Ben Saunders; chameleons

        Another lovely day.  You may be getting tired of hearing that.  I am not getting tired of experiencing it.  Sunny and with temperature in the low 70sF/21-22C.  Only a slight breeze.  I use Spanish Moss as tell tails.  The moss is presently swaying slightly, not dancing.
        I rode my bike to the store this morning.  I’ve never before looked forward so much to grocery shopping.  Four miles there and back through park like settings and mostly along what are nature trails and I’ve closed my exercise and move circles for the day.  I’ve added a basket to the bicycle so I can carry more than a backpack load on each trip.
        Pat sent me links to three videos about bicycles.  One about bicycles in Seattle a hundred years ago and the other two about Marshal ‘Major’ Taylor who became the first black American to be world champion in any sport.  I did not know of Major Taylor, but then, contrary to public opinion, there is a lot I don’t know.
        Click here and you will find all three short videos.  I thank Pat for bringing them to my attention.
        Ban cars from city centers.  Allow only public transportation, bicycles and pedestrians.  You would save lives, and possibly the planet, and simultaneously reduce pollution, congestion and fat.
        Of course it is not going to happen.
        Life makes much more sense if you do not believe we are an intelligent species.


        I thank Tom, who sails his beautifully built Pathfinder, FIRST LIGHT, when he is not flying jets across oceans for Delta, for links to two videos of Ben Saunders talking about his Antarctic expeditions.

        Ben Saunders is certainly the genuine article, with caveats.
        There is a huge and decisive difference in going to the edge of human experience when you are working with a safety net and can call for help and when you can’t.  If you watch the second video you will learn that Saunders and his partner couldn’t reach a cache of food and so had a supply flown out to them.  If Scott had had a sat phone he would have survived.  If Saunders had not had a phone, he probably wouldn’t have. 
        Second he blogged every night.
        That must often have been an unpleasant chore after an exhausting day hauling across ice.  I suppose it was necessary to satisfy sponsors.  
        If you have been here a while you know that I think if you call home or play to an audience every day, you aren’t totally in the moment and haven’t truly left society behind.
        Third is the vacuous assertion that if you dream and want something then anything is possible.  Only in the world of Disney.  Not in any world or life I have experienced or observed.
        Again the greatest truth I have ever read:

Ecclesiastes 9:11 King James Version (KJV)
 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. 


        To no one’s surprise work has not commenced on the renovations beyond the present stage of carpet removal, exposing vast expanses of cracked concrete.  I don’t expect it will this week, though there is a chance on Friday. 
When/if it ever starts, a lot is going to be done.  The proposed contract calls for “substantial completion” in eighty days. 
I don’t know when I will move to GANNET.  When I do I’ll miss two small light green lizards which I am told are chameleons who visit our deck almost daily, individually not together, and sometimes climb up the screens and peer in.  And I’ll miss the refrigerator.