Recent Reads

Hey frends. Just wanted to drop by a few thoughts on some books I’ve read recently. Three nonfiction books, which is rare for me! I usually gravitate towards fiction. Anyways, enjoy these short reviews of Joni Mitchell: Reckless Daughter, Black Wall Street, Men Without Women, Wool, White Noise, Pnin, and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, below:

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The Problem With Having a Platform

I had a very odd experience this winter, where a stranger told me one of my own stories. It sourced from this blog; although he did not know that. Briefly:

I was out ice climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park with a new partner. It was our second time out together, and we were still getting a feel for one another, as humans and as climbers. This involves a lot of discussion of life, philosophy, and (mostly) previous climbs. My partner asked if I had climbed the Diamond, perhaps Colorado’s most famous alpine wall, to which I answered: yes, I had.

It’s not too bad but you’ll need to move fast, I said to him. Yeah I’ve heard, he says. My favorite story of the Diamond is some guy is up there, pitching it out, going all slow, when suddenly Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell just simulclimb by! Leaving them in the dust.

That event happened to me and my partner Beth, the first time we climbed the Casual Route. I mentioned it in the trip report I published here on this blog, and on Medium. Thanks to SEO, and because lots of people are interested in climbing the Diamond, those posts see a good amount of traffic (and they will see more this summer, as we enjoy Diamond season). Somewhere along the way, this person had read that post, or discussed it with someone else who had. My own story was getting away from me; taking on a life of its own in my community.

This was a thoughtful a moment for me.

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Ice climbing >> film photography

ice climbing mountains multiple exposure

When it’s too cold and your camera stops advancing the film. I ended up with this accidental multi-exposure — consider it an entire ice climbing trip in one image! Cold choked the battery, I think, because photos I shot on the same film & camera in sunny Phoenix, later on the same trip, turned out fine.

(The top of) Whorehouse Hoses, WI4-5. The orange speck atop the falls is a person.
Lake City Ice Park, Lake City.

Perhaps it’s time to switch to digital?

Gringolandia

We drive 22 hours from Boulder, USA, to El Potrero Chico, Mexico. The journey takes three days, and we barely stop. We see nothing. The insides of Texas gas stations. Rest stops alongside the highway. A Wells Fargo bank or two. Endless fields of cotton & many drive-thru restaurants. We sleep in the car & we talk to no one until we arrive in Mexico.

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