Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mt Carrigain Trilogy

Looking back on my hiking trips in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, I stood upon the summit of Mt Carrigain six times. Three were solo day hikes, and three hikes were with a companion and involved camping at the summit. The 4680' summit of Mt Carrigain is considered by many to have one of the finest views in all the White Mountains.

To read the story of three ascents of Mt Carrigain by the Signal Ridge Trail, and what camping on the summit was like, follow the link below.

Mt Carrigain Trilogy

Laudizen King

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I'm Seeing Keith Richards in the Morning

Alas, after a certain age every man is responsible for his face. -Albert Camus, writer and philosopher (1913-1960)

I’m seeing Keith Richards in the morning. No, not the lead guitar player for the Rolling Stones. I’m talking about myself, really, and about my face, as I watch myself age. Keith went through that phase and the whole world got to see it, the progression of time across the features until the last hint of the young man was gone and the face of the old man remained. Today, a different person stares back at me from the mirror in the morning. All of my brown hair is gone, and the glaucoma drops have turned my once bright-colored hazel eyes to a dull brown with the eyelashes grown long and crazy all around them. The nose is different looking now and more hair seems to jut from the nostrils. The forehead is creased and old looking, and the eyebrows sit below it like an unkempt hedge.

Unlike the older riff-master, I have no lucky-charms dangling from my hair, and won’t be rocking a club or going out on tour anytime soon.


PS - to anonymous on 7/29/08: thanks for the comment, the wife and I did Wildrose 5 or 6 years ago before my bad knee injury. What a view, over 9000' down to Furnace Creek! We love the desert, and shake our heads at those who don't get it. Be well. LK

Friday, July 25, 2008

Hollow-cheeked Harlot

"But what is Hope? Nothing but the paint on the face of Existence; the least touch of truth rubs it off, and then we see what a hollow-cheeked harlot we have got hold of." –Lord Byron, poet (1788-1824)

At the current time, for some reason, this quote makes me think of John McCain. He looks old and hollow to me, and terribly made up. He seems stiff when walking, and stands as if he were propped up. And the way he clutches a microphone.......

I laud his service, and salute his honor and patriotism. But I am tired of aged politicians, especially Republicans, when their only spiel is about victory and their main worry involves appeasing religious conservatives.

It's time for McCain to call it a day, before the hollow-cheeked old man inside has his make-up rubbed off.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Thinking of Pizza: Pepe's and Sally's of New Haven

I was thinking about a hiking trip I was on many years ago, when I gained the summit of Mt Higby, west of Middletown, Connecticut, and enjoyed the panoramic view from the top. On a clear day, you could see New Haven and Long Island Sound in the south, and Mt Tom in Massachusetts to the north.

As I was thinking about the view of New Haven from the summit, one word came into my mind: pizza! I remembered visiting the two famous pizza restaurants that New Haven is known for around the world, Pepe's and Sally's. Connecticut has always had the best wheel, pie, pizza: whatever you want to call it.

Can it really be 35 years since I was there? I miss it so!

Los Angeles

Sunday, July 20, 2008

On the Garfield Ridge with Jack Kerouac

A recent phone call from Sam Greene in New Hampshire came as a welcome surprise. In discussing the current state of affairs, we rehashed some old trips to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, especially one hiking adventure that involved hiking the Franconia Ridge Trail and the Garfield Ridge Trail. On that trip, we spent one night at Greenleaf Hut on the shoulder of Mt Lafayette, and hiked to Galehead Hut the next day.

We also discussed an old photograph taken in the 1980s by a friend in Jaffrey Center, and that is the connection to Jack Kerouac.

To read the story follow the link below.

On the Garfield Ridge with Jack Kerouac


French Toast in Los Angeles

We made French Toast this morning in Los Angeles. Shirley cooked up some bacon while I prepared the eggs. I remembered the first time I tasted the treat from across the pond; it was back in the early 1960s when I was at a summer camp in Connecticut run by the Boy Scouts. My mother never made this for breakfast and I was quite taken with it.

I like to use a nice thin Ciabatta loaf because the bread itself is light and airy. I cut six slices of the Ciabatta bread about three-quarters of an inch thick. My recipe is this: in a bowl, I whisked up 4 large eggs, half a teaspoon of vanilla extract, an ounce and a half of triple sec, two dashes of nutmeg, and a dash of cinnamon. I poured this egg mixture into a large lasagna dish and placed the cut bread flat down in the liquid, turning it over occasionally until the bread was well soaked and most of the liquid absorbed.

The bread was then fried in the bacon fat until it was crispy around the edges and golden brown. We then served it up with a little butter and real maple syrup.

Il ├ętait magnifique.

Laudizen King

The Pope on squandering Earth's resources

On July 17, Pope Benedict XVI said that mankind's "insatiable consumption" has scarred the Earth and squandered its resources.

Is he talking about the sexual abuse perpetrated by the clergy?

What, will there be no more young boys to pleasure the unholy robed and warped 'celibate' elite of the church?


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Foul Ball

Shirley related this story to me last night as we watched the Dodgers beat the Diamond Backs in extra innings.

Desiree, a friend of Shirley's from work, told Shirley about taking her son to his first major league baseball game. The boy was ten at the time, and he was thrilled to death to finally be in the big house and seeing his heroes up close. He would ask her repeatedly if he might catch a ball, and he dreamed about the prospect of catching such a souvenir.

Desiree, on the other hand, was eight months pregnant with her second child, and was almost ready to cancel. But she wanted her son to enjoy the experience of a big league baseball game, so she gathered up her resolve and they went to the game together. They had seats down the right field line in the outfield, several rows up from the playing field.

As luck would have it, the game went into extra innings. Desiree was uncomfortable and tired, but she stayed on for the enjoyment of the boy, whose interest and enthusiasm had not abated during the long contest.

In the 14th inning, a ball was hit down the right field line but landed foul. Desiree sat in the hard stadium chair, her thoughts elsewhere. As the ball rolled down the foul territory and onto the grass in front of their seats it happened: her son bolted from his seat, ran down the steps, and vaulted over the railing. Out on the field, as the crowd cheered, the little guy ran and grabbed the ball and returned to the rail, where he was assisted over the barrier with the help of the fans seated nearby. He then ran back to his mom and sat down excitedly, the great prize held tight in the little hands. It had all happened so fast; Desiree sat stunned.

Then the security guards came walking down the aisles to arrive together at their seats.

As her son sat quiet and frightened, Desiree began to cry; she had visions of police stations and uncomfortable hours spent in unfriendly places with her boy and unborn child. They were asked to leave their seats, and the guards escorted them up the aisle as Desiree's condition was now evident to all.

At the security office it was a different story. They could not ignore people going out on the field, and their response showed they were serious about enforcing that ban, but everyone appreciated the pregnant mom who stayed at the game for 14 innings so her son could enjoy the experience.

As for the ball? The boy was allowed to keep it. It was a memorable day at the ballpark, in more ways than one.

Laudizen King

Monday, July 14, 2008

Mt Garfield Dream

In the mid-1980s, Bob and I were once again off on a May adventure. In a solid rain, we hiked in on the Wilderness Trail, located off the Kancamaugus Highway in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, until we reached the Franconia Brook Trail, and then continued north to the 13 Falls Campsite. We made camp and hoped for good weather to ascend to the Garfield Ridge Trail, and later climb the cone of Mt Garfield until we reached the shelter at Garfield Spring. The weather did not cooperate; instead, it got worse. After two days at 13 Falls, we climbed Mt Garfield in a blizzard, a hike that had its own challenges. Read the story at the link below.

Mt Garfield Dream


Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Icon Guild of Coeur d'Alene

The history and technique surrounding the creation of authentic Byzantine icons is alive and well in Northern Idaho, thanks, in part, to the efforts of Dianne Nolan.

This long practiced art form, from the preparation of the board and the application of gesso to the egg tempera painting, continues today in the north of Idaho as the art of iconography and the writing of icons lives on in a new generation of artists.

Dianne has also been involved with the creation of Prairie Virtue Dolls, and has illustrated a book of children's stories, "A Prairie Heart".

Follow the link below for the complete story.

The Icon Guild of Coeur d'Alene


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Capitalism in Hanoi Today

Harold Meyerson, political cartoonist and columnist-at-large, has been a regular op-ed columnist at the Washington Post since 2003. A friend sent me his column from July 9, a piece about American businesses in China and Vietnam, and it really upset me. I am not upset at his words, for they carry the ring of truth, what really upset me is the apparent disregard that American Capitalism has for anything that America supposedly stands for.

The short story is this: as wages go up in China, American business is searching out repressive regimes that have low wages with no unions or free speech, or any other unpleasantness associated with democracy; next stop, Hanoi.

As a Vietnam veteran, I am disheartened over these developing relationships, and the negative impact that they have on the establishment of democratic values in these emerging nations.

I also fear for those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan today, because their loyal service and sacrifice is not about American values, but about a future bottom line in a global economy that they will not be a part of, and an America that will not do justice to their service.

Follow the link below to read Harold Meyerson's article for yourself.

Why Were We In Vietnam


Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Riddle of New Hampshire

New Hampshire's own Sphinx, the great stone face of The Old Man of the Mountain, once gazed out at the state from his perch on the side of Cannon Mountain, high above the floor of Franconia Notch.

For years, I struggled to answer the riddle posed by the granite face of the Old Man and hidden in the 1972 AMC White Mountain Guide, but to no avail. The riddle, as originally posed, involved Mt Moosilauke and Mt Carrigain.

If you are an experienced hiker, and familiar with the many summits of the White Mountains of New Hampshire, you may have your own answer to this vexing conundrum; yet this is a riddle for a very few.

Follow this link: Riddle of New Hampshire

Laudizen King