The death of a moon cowboy

I am a somewhat-youth with ideas and thoughts and too many dreams that sometimes overflow as these little dribblings from my fingertips. I guess you can try to collect and capture them.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Dark sky

I recently read an article in The New Yorker about the nighttime sky and its darkness. Even with how much I enjoy astronomy and stargazing, I never gave this issue too much thought before. I just thought, "Hey, it's skyglow, what can you do? Let's find a nice dark spot like out in the middle of Nevada or north of Nine Mile Canyon." Just like the environmentalists tell Owen in the article, it was a soft issue for me.

But let's really think about our relationship with the night sky. Do we have anywhere close to the same relationship with the night today as others did one hundred years ago? No way. We love to light up our skies. We don't care to watch darkness fall and envelop the earth. We like to broadly illuminate our buildings at night, instead of seeing them by moonlight and starlight, instead of seeing their silhouettes and large darkened grandiose, even menacing, shapes against the blueblack backdrop of everything cosmic. We like perpetual day.

If there's anything we can do to better our nighttime viewing--whether it's advocacy, activism, education, sharing these ideas with others, adjusting our homes and yards to use full-cutoff or fully-shielded lighting, turning all lights out at night, calling the city to ask for pointless streetlights to be shut off, or even throwing rocks at those streetlights--we should do it. Also, we should donate to and join the International Dark-Sky Association.

Oh yeah, and vandalism appears to *increase* with more constant lighting. So don't use any lights at all, or just motion detection. And less lighting at night means lots of savings in electricity for everyone. Plus less carbon emissions because of the lessened electricity.

It's just sad to think we'll never see the sky the same as we did when we were kids. The earth's just getting artificially brighter. Even what we see tonight will only get worse and more washed-out. Maybe this is just a soft issue. But I think it's an important one.

Read "The Dark Side" article for more information on all this stuff.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Timpanogos caves

I just finished up my Flickr photoset about our trip to Timpanogos Cave National Monument. The set is right here.

I also made a brief blog about it, which includes many of the pictures, over here at the family blog.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

El vaquero de la luna

I've been doing a lot of updates on Flickr with my sets and photos. I will post more when they're fully fleshed out, but for now I wanted to say that I updated my photoset that includes my favorites.

Check it out here.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Baker City

So over Labor Day weekend we went to Baker City in eastern Oregon to visit some family. It was a short but entertaining trip. I've outlined it and included some pictures here.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Last week I had a brief dream. This is what I remember:

I was on my cell phone with Emily. Yes, my old girlfriend. Only, the dream wasn't about her. She was just a dream-device I apparently was using. We were talking about Shawnee. We were very upset with her. She was moving to California with her boyfriend. They planned to be there for one year. It seemed so ludicrous to us. Why Shawnee, why? How could you!

Anyway, I was on some school campus with concrete blocks to sit on in the quad or something like that, and I kept racing around while talking angrily and vigorously to Emily about Shawnee's situation. I don't know what was so wrong with it, but we obviously disapproved.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Wondrous thunderous

Outside, the thunder beings made voices. It was 6:50, and I was awake because Bella was awake. The morning twilight made everything yellow as it came through the muddy clouds. Lightning struck and struck again, briefly lighting the sky and the stormclouds before the rolling thunder voices cracked like commanding whips. I couldn't help but think of their power. I couldn't help but think they were talking to me, just me; even though this valley is overflowing with bodies and souls the thunder beings wanted only to speak to me. Bella lay awake in bed, and I was worried she would be afraid. I talked to her. "Do you hear the thunder?"
"No," she lied. "Listen," I said, just as a quiet voice boomed through the sky.
"Thunder is the sound of lightning," I told her. "It's like voices speaking to us. They are the thunder beings. They are kind, but powerful too. Do you hear how strong they are?"
"I love you, Bella."
"I love you, Dad."
Then the rain came pouring down like an ocean was dropped on us, its lukewarm waters coming in bucketsful. I stood under our sheltered little porch in only my red underwear, feeling the splashes and drips of the rain as it jumped the two front steps onto my feet. I looked through the yellow air, wanting to go stand in it and let my bedhair instantly be smothered by water from the sky. But I didn't. I don't know why. I went back inside and got dressed and made a lunch instead.
When I left for work the rain had let up. The air wasn't yellow anymore. The thunder and lightning has stopped, voices quieted. Dingy patches of bluegray sky poked through the receding storm. Thick groups of college kids hung out at 8 am at the bus stop, hoping to be to school on time. They started school yesterday, and this time I am not with them, I am not one of them. This time I drive by them on my way to work; my bike's at home by the washer, my backpack's empty and on the floor by the desk. Rainwater churned up in circles under my black tires, and I listened to Dolorean and thought about the sunrise and starlings.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


My mind is conflicted. Two halves pushing against each other, almost forced that way. So much I want to write and do and think. But I'm holed up in an office all pseudo-comfortable focusing on things that waste my time, that are wasteful. There's so much else I could be doing. But I need to earn, to make money, to make a living. It's hypocritical I know, it's counterproductive and yet, I don't know how else to evade it right now. I want out, but I also want in. I want to explore and interrogate the world and my own mind. I want to probe depths and swim through my mucky thoughts--it's a swamp in there I tell you, but it's hardening, igneous-style, a liquid dynamo of lava into sedentary rock. Rock is great--I love rock--it's large and grandiose but just there, always just there and unable to do anything. Sure it can be imposing, but it can also be conquered. Oh our mountainous minds.

So what to do? Keep feeling confused? Keep going about my business in ways I wish I weren't? No, no way. I can't keep it up. My ambition (do I really have any?) will have to flow out, and quickly, through other outlets. Okay I guess I just made up my mind.

I feel like Mikie.