Laugh of the Day

I’ve read so much about the New Yorker cover, and even seen a little bitty reproduction of it on some news site, that I thought I had made up my mind about it. Kind of a lame and misguided attempt at satire, I had decided, but at the same time it’s a bit silly to criticize it on the grounds that it is itself racist, or even to expend the mental energy to get bent out of shape about it.

But then I finally got my issue in the mail today. I took one look at the cover, seeing it at full size for the first time, and I immediately burst out laughing. No intellectualizing going on, it was just my first real look at the cover as it was intended to be seen, going straight from my eyeballs and along my nerves to the part of my brain that governs laughter, before I had a chance to think about it with the part of my brain that governs my politics.

Man, that is just one hell of a funny cover. It is possibly an irresponsible statement, but it is also a really, really brilliantly executed one.

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Trail Nix

On the Fourth of July, Dave and I went up to Point Reyes to go hiking. We chose a trail that was supposed to be a loop of about 4.5 miles, though it didn’t quite turn out that way. It was a great hike in any case. We saw a lot of animals, rabbits and deer and, most spectacularly, a couple of elk crossing the trail just a couple hundred feet ahead of us. In one area we walked through that was relatively sheltered from the breeze off the sea, we encountered a whole flock of intensely yellow birds — some kind of goldfinches? — that were playing and chirping and hopping from branch to branch and chasing each other around.

Unfortunately, about a mile from the end, we discovered the last leg of the trail was under construction and not passable. So we had to walk all that way back, nearly doubling the hike. By that time we were already starting to get tired, and the fog was starting in and it was getting a bit cold, but there was nothing else to be done — that was the shortest available way back. Without a compass or flashlight on us, leaving the trails and trying to find our way back more directly seemed like a good way to get lost.

Fortunately we had plenty of water on us. No extra food, but there were wild blackberries along parts of the trail. It’s early for them and there were not all that many ripe ones, but the ones we found that were ripe were pretty darned wonderful.

By the time we got back to the car it was well after eight and we were wiped and famished. We had planned to watch the fireworks with friends of ours who live right on the Bay, but by the time we got a meal in us, it was too late to get there in time.

It may have been in part our own fault. We stopped by the park headquarters and planned which trail to take, but in the car after we left the HQ we changed our minds and drove to a different trailhead that looked more interesting and only a little longer. It may well be that they had had something posted at the HQ about that trail being out, and we hadn’t seen it.

Still, you’d think they’d post something at the last crossing before the section that was being worked on. If we’d known, we could have turned to the right and taken a different loop back to our car. The “closed” sign was two miles or so past the last crossing. Oof.

Trail Nix

On the Fourth of July, Dave and I went up to Point Reyes to go hiking. We chose a trail that was supposed to be a loop of about 4.5 miles, though it didn’t quite turn out that way. It was a great hike in any case. We saw a lot of animals, rabbits and deer and, most spectacularly, a couple of elk crossing the trail just a couple hundred feet ahead of us. In one area we walked through that was relatively sheltered from the breeze off the sea, we encountered a whole flock of intensely yellow birds — some kind of goldfinches? — that were playing and chirping and hopping from branch to branch and chasing each other around.

Unfortunately, about a mile from the end, we discovered the last leg of the trail was under construction and not passable. So we had to walk all that way back, nearly doubling the hike. By that time we were already starting to get tired, and the fog was starting in and it was getting a bit cold, but there was nothing else to be done — that was the shortest available way back. Without a compass or flashlight on us, leaving the trails and trying to find our way back more directly seemed like a good way to get lost.

Fortunately we had plenty of water on us. No extra food, but there were wild blackberries along parts of the trail. It’s early for them and there were not all that many ripe ones, but the ones we found that were ripe were pretty darned wonderful.

By the time we got back to the car it was well after eight and we were wiped and famished. We had planned to watch the fireworks with friends of ours who live right on the Bay, but by the time we got a meal in us, it was too late to get there in time.

It may have been in part our own fault. We stopped by the park headquarters and planned which trail to take, but in the car after we left the HQ we changed our minds and drove to a different trailhead that looked more interesting and only a little longer. It may well be that they had had something posted at the HQ about that trail being out, and we hadn’t seen it.

Still, you’d think they’d post something at the last crossing before the section that was being worked on. If we’d known, we could have turned to the right and taken a different loop back to our car. The “closed” sign was two miles or so past the last crossing. Oof.