Feb 10, 2009

Feb 10 2009 (Late Nite)

After finishing the Atomic Enchiladas and listening to Wolfie's (my son) crazy organ music, I read a little more from the Steinbeck book "Travels with Charley".

Steinbeck get very introspective once he hits his hometown of Salinas California, and reveals much of his true thoughts and wisdom. The book no longer is a fun adventurous road-trip like when he started. He talks of the locals he had known that treat him like an outsider and he quotes Thomas Wolfe, saying that "home has ceased to exist except in the mothballs of memory".

My take on it is that his controversial book "The Grapes of Wrath", and his rejection by some of the rich farmers from his own valley, who called Steinbeck a "communist" and shit, have forever estranged him from his native place. He moved on from Salinas then crossed the Mohave desert and began to philosophize.

Some of his quotes from the Desert chapter were quite profound. "and there are true secrets to the desert. In the war of sun and dryness against living things, life has it's secrets of survival." and goes on to state: " I find most interesting the conspiracy of life in the desert to circumvent the death rays of the all-conquering sun."! Damn that man could write!

Steinbeck goes on and adds: "The desert, being an unwanted place, might well be the last stand of life against unlife. For in the rich and moist and wanted areas of the world, life pyramids against itself and in its confusion has finally allied itself with the enemy... non-life. And what the scorching, searing, freezing, poisoning weapons of non-life have failed to do may be accomplished to the end of its destruction and extinction by the tactics of survival gone sour."

John Steinbeck shared the concern of the worlds destruction with others such as Einstein and Oppenheimer and many, many others. But John Steinbeck proposes that the inhabitants of the deserts....being used to such harsh extremes and tribulations could possibly be where the survivors of the destruction would come from.

He writes " The lone man and his sun-toughened wife who cling to the shade in an unfruitful and uncoveted place might, with their brothers in arms....the coyote, the jackrabbit, the horned toad, the rattlesnake, together with a host of armoured insects---- these trained and tested fragments of life might well be the last hope of life against non-life." then adds this poignant sentence: "The desert has mothered magic things before this."

Curious how after his initially his trip sounded like a personal blog or even a tourist guide book, then turns into a personal journey. After Steinbeck visits Salinas, the book turns inward-then on to profound philosophy. Steinbeck seems to be searching for something. Unfortunately the book is almost over when he gets to his desert ideas. He is only halfway finished with his trip yet the book is nearly over. I think he lost interest after the heartbreak of visiting his home town.

Life is all about "heartbreak" and how we deal with it. There are many types of heartbreak and millions of ways to address it or accept it. The heartbreak of being rejected by many of his old friends and neighbors is a tough thing for Steinbeck to live with. I suspect that he was so far beyond those people in his writings and ideas, that he tended to make those folks quite uncomfortable and his old friends had no choice but to reject him and his ideas. People reject things out of fear or misunderstanding, or a perceived need for self-preservation: This causes people like Steinbeck to travel to the desert and contemplate existences.

Feb 10th 2009

SCREW WALMART! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGjrCZpj5j0&feature=related

Remember the stuff I told ya I bought yesterday? I unfortunately bought it at Walmart. When paying with my card yesterday, the checker told me that their system was having problems and then she swiped my card again. She told me that I needed to pay cash, since their system was down. I happened to have the money and I paid cash. This morning I noticed that I was charged twice from my bank card and that my account balance was minus $100.00!!!! I called the store, who passed me to the corporate office, who passed me back to the store again! Then once more to the corporate office. So far nothing has been resolved.

On the bright side, it was a bright sunny day with 4 inches of new snow on the ground, and cold enough to freeze my backyard. So the mud is now frozen and covered with snow. Freddy is one clean puppy! I ran some errands and Freddy was happy to go for a ride with me. Tonight I plan to make some "Al's Atomic Enchiladas! I use ground beef, cheese, and sour cream for the filling, combined with an exquisite mixture of Pace Picante, tomato soup, and Tabasco Habenero sauce. This is quite a labor intensive dish, but should help me keep my mind off the Walmart situation.

I cranked up the new $49 Bissel vacuum cleaner before cooking and gave it a workout. This thing has some big power and sports a clear window to show you all the filth that it sucks up! The Bissel sucked up enough dog hair to weave a sweater and 40 days worth of dirt. As much as I now dislike Walmart, I have to admit that $49 for a kickass vacuum cleaner can only be found there. This thing is way more powerful than the old Kirby's I used to sell for $700, back in the early 80's. I will still shop at Walmart, but not as much, and will only pay with cash.

Chuck, who I just toured the northern Rockies with just called. He snowboarded Monarch Pass and Wolf Creek, and is presently near Roswell, New Mexico. He's traveling fast so he can see his lady that he missed for the past two weeks. Chuck is the best tour guide for anyone wanting to see cool places between Terlingua, Tx. and Alaska. He has crisscrossed the Rockies many times in all the Western states and Canada as well. Chuck knows where to go when out west. He has also traveled to many Countries and on all continents except for Europe.

I'll try to write more later and add a picture or two, so remember to always check back with me.