Every year at this time, just as we’re enjoying favorite outdoor activities after having been bundled up, hunkered down or cooped up all winter, a Pandora’s Box of stinging, blood-sucking, destructive, disease-spreading insects...
As long as the world is coming to an end, there's a few things I need to get off my chest
What? You haven't heard what's coming down next month?
It starts with a polar reversal — the sun will rise in the west — spurring cataclysmic earthquakes, giant tsunami and volcanic eruptions.
Then things really start to go south: ferocious fires, melting nuclear reactors, crashing buildings, howling winds, collapsing bridges, choking dust...
It's all true! Not according to some crackpot preacher who wants you to send him money, or a bed sheet-garbed doomsday prophet shouting on street corners, or to some other crazed lunatic such as Karl Rove, but according to the Mayan calendar — and after all, who has more credibility than an ancient Mexican-Central American civilization that collapsed 3,000 years ago?
Acolytes regard Dec. 21, 2012 as the end-date of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar devised by the Mayans. Evidently the Mayans didn't bother continuing the calendar past then because the world is going to end that day. What's the point?
I, for one, am mighty p.o.'d about this, mainly because now it's clear I wasted hours and hours and hours — not to mention all that wear-and-tear on my back — building two woodsheds and stocking them with more than 10 cords of wood.
I won't even have gone through half a cord by Dec. 21.
I also wasted weeks building deer-proof enclosures around my vegetable garden, blueberry bushes and a mini-vineyard I planned to plant next spring — except there won't be a next spring, let alone another harvest. Damn!
I could have been kicking back with a few brewskis and a barrel full of Doritos instead of digging post holes, lugging rocks and assembling metal fences.
Speaking of Doritos, I've spent decades turning up my nose at Big Macs, pepperoni pizzas and the entire KFC menu, choosing instead to gnaw on granola, raw veggies and tofu, in the mistaken belief that it would prolong my longevity. Had I known earlier on about the impending doom I might have indulged in a few more treats.
Imagine: I'll be checking out the same day as Rush Limbaugh! Arrrgh!
Here are a few other things, in no particular order, that I wish I hadn't done:
-- Run all those stupid marathons.
-- Climbed all those stupid mountains.
-- Kayaked all those stupid rivers.
-- Swum in all those stupid lakes.
-- Skiied all those stupid trails.
-- Sailed, skated, sledded, hang-glided and otherwise moved around in the stupid great outdoors without the use of an engine.
Instead, I could have been learning how to drive a snowmobile, ATV or Jet-Ski, or how to shoot a rifle — in other words, becoming a REAL outdoorsman.
Oh well, with only a month to go there's no point in changing horses in midstream — or more accurately, now that I've almost almost reached the other side.
I might as well go back to my dish of yogurt with a side order of bean sprouts. If I finish in time there may still enough light to split a few more logs.
With our son, Tom, back home in Connecticut for just a week from Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula, we’ve tried to pack in an abundance of such favorite activities as whitewater kayaking, frigid plunges in the lake and running with...
Embarking on a winter expedition to Mount Katahdin a few years ago, I hooked up with a few casual acquaintances accompanied by other climbers I only met just as we began the long drive from southeastern Connecticut to northern Maine.
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