Paul’s Perambulations

September 22, 2009

Another of Fran’s childhood adventures

Filed under: Family,General — admin @ 9:31 pm

Fran recently told me the following childhood tale from when she was eight and lived in Albuquerque, NM. She (then known as Dixie, for Dixwell) had gone on a trip with some childhood friends to a Campfire Girls’ event in the mountains. Getting bored in the afternoon, she enlisted a small group of the girls to go with her on a hike. Seven or eight started out, following her up the mountain, with Dixie promising a good view of the campground from the heights above. However the trail grew progressively smaller and smaller until it was little more than a ledge. A couple of the girls turned back, and then a couple more, but Dixie pushed on with two friends following. They finally got to a height where they could indeed look down on the camp and could also hear people calling for them. Dixie had reached her intended lookout, and so she led the little contingent back down the mountain. Turns out that the girls who first returned had reported incorrectly that the group was lost, and a rescue effort was being mounted. Dixie, of course, was quite ho-hum about all the commotion when she returned. Some things never change.

Fran believes that you are never lost unless you think you are lost. She is never lost. Ask her about this. My view is that we’ve been lost so often that I’ve lost count, and so it doesn’t really matter anyhow. Is there a difference here?

Fran thinks that this is just an excuse for MY story of the time it was 10 below and I got lost on the mountain and returned just as the ski patrol was sending out a search party. Our parents do tend to worry for nothing.

September 17, 2009

A lifetime illicit drug free — it does happen.

Filed under: General,Politics,Recreation — admin @ 2:38 pm

Amazingly, almost unbelievably, I’ve never used illicit drugs and don’t feel I’ve missed anything on that account. I think much of this stems from a 1962 term paper I wrote on LSD (make that “about LSD”) while a student at Tufts. What about the elephant killed in a 1962 LSD experiment funded by the CIA and published in Science? Then there were Harvard’s Alpert and Leary, looking for participants at Tufts (LSD was legal until 1966) when their subjects had already founded a church/meditation center for the drug’s use and were known to be wacky losers. I was a serious runner then, and the athletic scene was totally different from today. Athletics were a prime motivator AWAY FROM drug use.  The athlete’s diet was protein based, with carbo-loading just before a race. Performance enhancing drugs were not in the picture, and cigarettes and alcohol (the drugs of choice at the time) were known performance diminishers. There were two views regarding the relationship between drugs and sex.  It helped; it didn’t help but folks were so stoned they didn’t know the difference. Without experimentation, I sided with the latter (besides, who needed the help?).

Incidentally, Alpert was a Tuft’s graduate, and I heard Leary speak at Princeton and spoke with him briefly there. So have some yogurt and chanterelles, in memory of Tusko the 7000 pound bull elephant (RIP).

p.s. Fran and I are amateur mycologists, but we avoid the psychedelic ones.

September 6, 2009

Why College Costs Rise (comment on NYTimes article)

Filed under: General — admin @ 10:10 pm

I submitted the following Comment to the New York Times in response to their  8/5/09 article Why College Costs Rise, Even in a Recession. (more…)

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