Back to the computer after several days away in remote Pennsylvania. Indeed this was a welcome change from the ordinary, the routine.
I was isolated with family away from the trappings of the modern world.
And that ain't easy for me. In fact, I doubt I have ever "roughed" it this much. Mainly that speaks to how soft I am. There were showers and a full kitchen so it was far from rough. I admit I could have used some air conditioning. Saturday night temperatures hovered around 85 to 90 (inside the house.) That made for a difficult sleep, but not awful.
The lake our "Chalet" was situated on was small, but very nice. The water temperature was perfect and the kids loved it. Most of us got some fishing in too. Truly a special moment seeing my daughter out of her comfort zone and NOT going crazy about it.
No TV. No video games. Not much of anything. Downtime for downtime sake. And as I sit here I recall maybe one meltdown. We got one already in the brief time back in the dirty Jerz.
About 12 hours in I even got used to having no cell phone reception. I turned the damn thing off and rolled with it. I was certain the spider living in skin or dad dropping kid to catch foul ball clips would be there when I returned to the WEB. Wouldn't you know I was right??
Other than a most pleasant time playing cards, drinking beers and otherwise lounging around one thing really struck me about my time in Bradford, Wyoming and Susquehanna County: Natural Gas pipelining has taken over that part of the Country. Never in my life had I seen such an assortment of large trucks and equipment on the tiniest, narrowest roads. Farmers and laborers have given their land to commerce and I am unsure how it will all play out. There have been documentaries and studies suggesting this new "Gold Rush" has some issues (namely: http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/) My initial thought is what was once pristine land with quiet hillsides and wholesome goodness is under a radical transformation. At our lake compound we met families from Arkansas, Florida and Texas. Each had his own story about how he ended up there... but they were all in the pipe-lining business. Note, do not say "fracking" to one of these folks. I was corrected when I asked if "You here fracking like the rest of them?" Probably sounds like calling Casey Anthony a good parent to these hard working kids. "Fracking" is not what they do. Creating clean and efficient energy solutions is more appropriate. Yeah, I am not sold either. But I am never one to argue with tattoo wearing, beer drinking Southerners. They work with their hands too... I would not stand a chance.
I hope those in charge are monitoring like they should be. But like anything I am skeptical. Something tells me more tragedy and unrest is around the corner. And if you take a look at this: http://www.eia.gov/pub/oil_gas/natural_gas/analysis_publications/ngpipeline/ngpipeline_maps.html
I think it is clear more areas' fates are to be determined.
Through the silence and pipeline reflections a few World events managed to alarm me.
First, a moment on the Norwegian shootings. Wow. This is a horrifying story I will not pretend to understand. And I lack the wisdom or clarity to explain or justify it. So do you. So does everyone. Essentially, hatred lurks in every corner of this Planet. If a man or woman is determined to terrorize NOTHING, not man or machine, will be able to stop him or her.
Here is someone scared his Country is being overrun by Muslims he decides to kill his own Countries children. Unreal. Sad too that I thought for a moment that this is somehow good for the US. We are the Country often associated with these types of lone gunman/massacres. Madness and depravity are everywhere. Makes the debt ceiling talk a bit more trivial though, at least for a minute.
Finally, a moment to reflect on the tortured life of Amy Winehouse. This is another sad, sad story from Europe over the weekend.
27 years of age. What were you doing at 27? Starting a career? A family? Trying to establish what you might be doing the rest of your life?
Ms Winehouse had burst onto the music scene, captured the hearts and minds of countless followers, and promptly left this Earth. She was never able to keep it together. Like many, many before her we wonder what if? What if she stayed clean? What if she had the support she needed? What if she made countless more records?
I will never understand the tortured artist for several reasons. Mainly, I am not an artist. I do not have the genius Winehouse or Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Elliot Smith, et al had. And I am afraid it is that genius that makes this all the more confounding.
We ask ourselves why? But we will never know the torment Winehouse felt? Did she even want this success? Was she "happy" singing or on stage? If so, did she want countless photographers camped outside her flat every day? There was a death watch the moment "Rehab" blared on all of our radios a few years back.
We got our story now. And for what? Right, silence.
Ben Folds "Late" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XtfcjYaT6A
Amy Winehouse: "You Know Im No Good" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-I2s5zRbHg&ob=av3n