Wednesday, August 29, 2007


I recently took a 5 day vacation and a 3 day mini vacation. I got back and I felt like I needed a vacation from my vacation! I didn't seem to rest at all. I was out late every night though I did get to sleep in most mornings except for the morning I drove to and back from the vacation spot. On top of that I always feel I should be doing something and not just sitting around wasting good vacation time.

When I was 16 and in college I would work nights all school year, I would work half of the summer except for about 4-6 weeks. I would then take off for those 4-6 weeks and camp out all throughout the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It would take me two weeks to just wind down enough to be able to relax and enjoy the vacation. Those memories are my favorite of vacations. I would make an early dinner and clean it up then go sit besides a meadow and watch meteor storms in the night sky and totally relax. I would mountain bike a trail or visit a wilderness hot spring and let the troubles of life fade away. A full day of flyfishing with a nap on a warm rock mid-day was not unusual.

Nowadays I am so busy trying to "vacation" and get the most out of my one week a year that I am exhausted by the end of it. Europeans and Australians go on Holiday for a month or two. That is what we need. Americans have become so "productive" we can't relax. I miss real vacations.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I had the strangest dream last night. I was swimming in a muddy river pretty far from the nearest road with some friends. It was a river that ran through brushy mesquite covered hills. I grabbed something underwater that I immediately recognized by feel.
I have picked up, put on, tied and re-tied my hiking boots millions of times over the years. Your boots are really the closest things to you when you hike for a living for years. Every step, every waking moment is spent in them and sometimes even when you sleep. There in my hand was the familiar feel of a leather hiking boot. I pulled on the boot and discovered that it was attached to a leg, in fact a body. I wasn't sure how much of a body because I couldn't see it in the muddy water. It was stuck in the mud so I tugged to free it from the silty bottom. I worked with the current to float it to the surface so I could see what I had found. I was yelling to my friend as to what I had found. The body broke the surface stronger than I though it would and it ended up splashing mud and blood all over him. He was not amused but my other friends laughed thinking it was a joke, then they saw the body floating. He was a white man about 30 years old with sandy colored shoulder length hair. He was fully clothed, levis, plaid shirt and melted nylon jacket. He looked like he had fallen onto a fire and his entire stomach area except for his spine was completely burned out. He hadn't been dead long, everything thing else on him was intact, not even his hair was burnt. My friend said we needed to carry the body out. We ended up putting his upper body in one large hefty trash back and his lower body in another. I carried the upper body and my brother carried the lower half for a little while. My brother has a bad back so I ended up carrying both bags. If you have ever carried a person over distance by yourself you know how hard it is. I was carrying him over some really tough boulder fields and up some pretty steep terrain. My legs burned. All I could think of was the family of this poor guy and how they deserved to have his body as intact as possible. It took us hours to get back to our van and I was exhausted by that time. We loaded the body into the van and took off to my station.
At the Forrest Service Headquarters I rolled up and met someone I worked with and said "I've recovered a body" to which he responded "oh no." I wasn't sure if he was sad I had recovered a body or about the paperwork involved to document it. We brought the body in and laid him out on a table in the garage bay. He looked so young with his shoulder length hair and blue eyes just looking out. I felt bad for his parents. When we went to move him into cold storage he blinked. I was startled and moved away, but I thought it was due to some involuntary muscle action, so I wasn't scared. When I moved in close to pick him up again his eyes suddenly turned to follow my every move. I got this very strange feeling that this was not some involuntary reaction but that he was really looking at me. I moved away and sideways but his eyes still followed mine. I moved in and picked him up and his eyes looked at me the entire time. As I put him into the walk-in cooler he kept looking into my eyes and would occasionally blink. I didn't know how to explain this so I just gently put him down and backed away. I was in the bay looking out a window at the surrounding forest when I heard one of the BLM girls say "he doesn't know, does he." I turned, "know what" I asked. That man you found killed several Apaches for sport. Some of the men in the tribe found him and killed him. Law enforcement has been looking for the body and the men who killed him since early this morning. I suddenly got the eerie feeling. I said "that's why the spirits picked me to find him, I'm Apache." I have been on body recovery many times before and have never felt weird about it. But right at that moment, I got the chills. This man, who had killed out of a hate burning inside his belly. The man who the Apache killed by burning the hate out of him. The man who watched me pick him up even after he was dead. It all seemed to fit together but why or how I didn't know.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

American Dream

This week has been a rollercoaster emotionally. A job came up that I thought I might be qualified for and it paid really well. I mean REALLY WELL. If I got this job, in two years I could retire with the bills, cars, house upgrades and the house paid off. On the other hand I would be stationed with the Army in the field in Iraq. The threat of death or dismemberment was pretty real too. I did my first interview and though I had a lot of the requirements for the job, I was lacking in the area of hands on electronics maintenance. I really was pretty disappointed.

When I was growing up my Dad worked and my mom didn't. They bought a house with a 20 year low fixed rate mortgage and were able to pay it off, pay for whole family health insurance, have two cars, put money aside, and retire while they had a few years left. The California Native Americans that lived here in San Diego worked 2 hours a day to maintain their lifestyle. We work at least 4 times that just to maintain ours. I guess the new American Dream is both partners need to work at least full time, 50 weeks a year till they drop dead.

I started working when I was 11 years old. I have never had a real high-paying job even though I have a Bachelors degree and two Associates degrees. The only job that paid well was a construction job working in a radioactive, toxic environment. I have never been able to put money aside for retirement so I guess I will work till I leave this earth, and still not have the house paid off.

Today, compared to our parents or past generations, we work more, we live more crowdedly, we pay more for less health care, and our environment and natural resources are still diminishing. It just doesn't seem to me like the "Good Life" of that "American Dream" is progressing.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


What the people believe, is true.

I watch a lot of History Channel. It has always seemed strange at how much history changes depending on who is telling it. It not only changes from culture to culture but generation to generation too. Depending on the perspective, one side of the story can go from wrong to right or victim to aggressor. We seem to take what the historians of our time tell us, like we are hearing the one and only truth.

Everyday we are bombarded with data that we need to make decisions on. This phone company has this coverage at this rate, another has a cheaper rate but the coverage is also less. Different gas stations sell gas at different prices on any said day. Projects, commitments, appointments are ever changing and shifting. Interest rates rise and fall as does inflation. Our money grows stronger or weaker. Brittany Spears shaved her head. Information is thrown at us and we have to decide if it is useless or useful and then chose to act or not act on it. I think people just get tired of filtering, deciding, changing, re-thinking so they go with the easiest route they can when it comes to the big questions. They depend on others to tell them what to think. History, religion, social values all tend to be left up to others as to what is right and wrong. Nobody is looking for truth, just status quo. Democracy rules judgment and values. Whatever is most popular now is what we believe because we don't have to think about it for ourselves. What a shame.

The one who tells the stories rules the world.

Friday, August 3, 2007


When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.
Cherokee Proverb
I love the old Native American proverbs. There is really nothing more to add to this.