There are no easy fourteeners

  My parents have recently retired to Colorado, which makes for a great hiking opportunity each time I visit.  My father (Steve) and I climbed Quandary Peak, at 14,265 feet.  Hiking guides call Quandary an “easy” fourteener, but as the title implies, and a trail sign implored, “there are no easy fourteeners.” The trail begins with a moderate climb through sub-alpine spruce forest, with a comfortable dirt trail.  At this point, I asked to try my dad’s new trekking poles, but when I adjusted them, a hinge pin fell into the grass, not to be recovered.  My dad – MacGuyver … Continue reading There are no easy fourteeners

"Public Works" on display

On a recent trip to Chicago, I caught the final day of the Public Works exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Photography. This was right up my alley, I love looking at the landscape and what humans do to it. In most cases, “progress” on the landscape involves a typical set of development behaviors; cut down the trees, grade the land, put in drainage, etc. These behaviors are so deeply ingrained into the default construction code that trying to do something different requires too much thought. When we see the cranes and bulldozers, we typically think “progress,” and so we don’t tend to ask too many questions.

Frank Breuer, Untitled, 2004 (1523 Plum Island, MA)

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Does where we live make us happy?

I stumbled upon this index of “Happiest American Cities” and it got me to thinking about just what exactly makes me happy to live where I live. East Lansing, Michigan, is not the kind of place I brag about living. It’s not “where it’s at,” but for me, it has what I need: I walk to work each day, I enjoy my job and my education at Michigan State, and I have been satisfied by the relationships I have formed with the many people I have met in the past half-year. It doesn’t have the vibrancy and diversity a huge … Continue reading Does where we live make us happy?