Category Archives: Geography

Monochrome Monday ~ Arizona

Arizona is beautiful ~ in an inspiring, rugged kind of a way.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

these rocks are all a dark red

it’s known as Red Rock Country

Scenes on Sunday ~ Sedona

Sedona is beautiful, but your eyes are even more beautiful.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

red rock country

full of very nice boys

Road Trip Arizona

Arizona is arid and mostly empty.

I’ve only been in the Copper State for a few days, but it will leave some lasting impressions on my memory.  And, not just the obvious ~ that it’s big, empty, and fucking very hot.

This is a place of contrasts; from the red desert to the high pines, and from downtown anywhere Phoenix to utterly crazy, totally living in the past, Flagstaff, Arizona continually surprised me.

Red Rock Country around Sedona reminded me of John Wayne western movies, and the high pines on the road to Flagstaff reminded me of innumerable Jimmy Stewart westerns.  Funny how one’s impressions of a place can be coloured by the film’s one watched as a boy.

But, mostly what I’ll remember about this place is that, on average, it’s empty.  There’s a lot of space with bugger all in it except rocks and heat.

I like Arizona, but the whole world is a big place, so I don’t think I’ll ever get back here.

Some say that Arizonians know what’s best for Arizona.  And, that there’s more to the Grand Canyon State than heat.  All I know is that this state is extreme.

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Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Meteor Crater has no visual references to tell your mind just how damn huge it is

Meteor Crater, Arizona

And God created the Heavens and the Earth.

Some say that God created the cosmos in six days, and that the Earth is 6,000 years old.

Science tells us that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, and that the mile wide crater near Winslow Arizona was made by a meteor 50,000 years ago.

Standing on the edge of the crater there is no sense of scale, but it’s huge.

What nobody will tell you is that standing on the edge of the crater in June, you will get eaten alive by midge and mosquito alike.  Go very early in the morning, in colder weather, but go.  If just to know that all the religious fundamentalists are wrong.

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Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

If a meteor had to strike anywhere, AZ is as good a place as any, as AZ is mostly empty space.

Scenes on Sunday ~ America

America is a land of endless inspiring vistas.

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A Californian I Am Not

California is a nice place to live, if you happen to be a hippie.

Orange County in Southern California is a very beautiful place to spend early summer ~ the great weather, fabulous beaches, and fascinating countryside….. But any Englishman thinking of coming here for the very first time needs to know that SoCal is as different from the Shires as Wensleydale cheese is from the muck known as American cheese.

George Bernard Shaw once said that England and America are two countries separated by a common language.  This is manifestly true.  Californians do not know how to speak or understand English, even if Spanish is not their first language.  Certainly no Californian will ever understand English humour, irony, sarcasm, or know what real honesty is about.  Also Californians have a language of their own; WTF does ‘Jonesing’ mean?

There is popular movement that calls on us all to walk 10,000 steps a day.  Californians do not walk anywhere, unless they are a penniless bum.  A Californian will drive to the gym and then spend some time on the treadmill while listening to mindless music.

And, Californians are among the very worst drivers I have ever come across, possibly barring the French.  The two real downsides are #1 all Americans think they are good drivers, #2 in California the standard of driving worsens by age, sex, and ethnicity, (not how you’d think).

Californians even drive to and from what they are pleased to call a pub.  I’ve been in several pubs / sports bars here, and to any decent Englishman they are universally appalling.  Do Not think you will get a decent pint of beer here, they serve dross such as pineapple flavoured beer.  Americans are also pleased to sit at the bar and watch sports TV all night.  Do Not eat the food in any American  pub / sports bar.

Some Californian food is fabulous, you can get a wonderful steak and salad here.  On the other hand sushi is popular here, and so is serving nasty cheese with everything.  Do not try ‘Mexican’ food, it’s greasy muck with jalapeno.

Some say that California is the Golden State.  And that saying ‘have a nice day’ isn’t actually an insult.  All I know is that bikers, drop-outs, hippies, stoners, and surf bums do well here.

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Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

The beach bars are cool in California,

and some serve good food,

How to Survive an Earthquake

Sometimes I feel like I’m living on the edge of a fault-line.

1989 San Francisco Earthquake

If you live in an earthquake zone, somewhere on the ring of fire, then sooner or later  where you live is going to experience a big one.  One thing that you should bear in mind if you suffer a serious earthquake ~ there will be dangerous aftershocks.  And nobody can predict when or where an earthquake will strike.

To have the best chance of surviving an earthquake, you should;

  • Have a plan, write it down, keep it safe.
  • Be somewhere else at the time.
  • Always keep a half-tank of gas in your car ~ you may need to get out of town in a hurry.
  • Keep an earthquake survival kit in the trunk of your car.
  • Have some basic tools in the trunk of your car, including a hatchet, fire extinguisher, and high powered flashlight.  These should be in the trunk of your car anyway, along with a space blanket and first-aid kit.
  • Keep your hiking boots and 2 pairs of clean socks in the trunk of your car.
  • Have plenty of bottled water at home, and always keep some in your car.
  • Stay away from buildings, when it’s safe to get outside, find an open space to be even safer from the aftershocks.
  • Stay away from windows, street lights, utility cables, and overpasses.
  • If you are indoors, do not use an elevator.  Stand in a doorway, the door-frame might just protect you.  At worst get under a table.  Do not try to leave the building until the quake stops.
  • If you are indoors, stay away from anything tall, such as cupboards, wardrobes, and filing cabinets.  Get away from anything hanging from the ceiling or walls.

The snag is, if you follow this advice the trunk of your car is always going to be full of survival equipment, making it untidy and not much use for collecting groceries from the supermarket.  Also, real survival would mean you buying a 4X4 off road vehicle, like a Land Rover or Jeep instead / as well as whatever car you drive now.  And you would keep a tent and other camping things in your 4X4.

And not much of the above matters one jot if your car is in a garage, which collapses on it during a big earthquake.

Anyway, survival is a state of mindStaying alive during and after a disaster is more about psychology and physiology than it is about having a ton of survival gear.  Perhaps the best thing to do is go in an appropriate course at a survival school instead of a beach vacation next year.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Land Rover, the best 4X4 by far

Veganism and Health

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.  ~  Albert Einstein

modern wheat is as bad for you as any slow poison.

A vegan diet is one that excludes any food that comes from an animal, fish, or whatever.  This includes eggs, dairy, meat, fish, fowl, and even things like snails and honey.  A vegan diet is exclusively plant-based; vegetables, fruit, grains, soy, legumes, nuts, and seeds.  Vegan diets usually usually exclude any canned or processed foods.  Vegan diets are extreme.

There are far more vegan women than men.  In the UK 63% of people who say they are vegan are women.  Anyhow, in the UK veganism is not exactly part of the mainstream dietary culture, there are only some 542,000 self-identified vegans here, which is 1% of the population ~ and I don’t necessarily believe there’s a half-million vegans in Great Britain.  I once dated a vegan, and she cheated all the time.

Dr. Richard Twine, a senior lecturer in social sciences, interviewed a shed-load of vegans and found that 73% were women and only 27% were male.

In America, that world epicentre for weird cults, fads, and fringe movements, only 3% of the population identify as vegan.  Amazing, as more than half of Americans believe that alien abduction, alien visitation, and UFOs are real.  Aliens probably exist.

Proper scientific studies show that true veganism can be very bad for your health, especially if you consume unhealthy plant-based food such as fruit juices, refined grains, wheat, fries, and a lot of fatty, high-calorie stuff like avocado.  The recommended daily serving is just 1/3 of a medium sized avocado.

My vegan diet brought on early menopause.  ~  Virpi Mikkonen

A vegan or vegetarian who consumes no animal products can be just as unhealthy as a slob who dines on nothing but burgers and beer.

Some health problems caused by a vegan diet include; leaky gut, hormone disruption, (including oestrogen and thyroid hormones), anemia, low omega-3 leading to anxiety and depression, lack of vitamin B12, (which can lead to irreversable memory loss and impaired cognitive function), lack of zinc, (which is especially vital for pregnant women), too much carbohydrate, (which leads to fatty liver, diabetes, and obesity), and eating disorders.

Personally, I don’t care so much if someone wants to be vegan or vegetarian, but I do object when they preach to me about my own omnivorous diet.

Some say they don’t eat meat because eating animal products is unethical.  And that being vegan reduces their carbon footprint.  All I know is that I really like a good steak.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

onglet steak, a butcher’s best kept secret.

Scenes on Sunday ~ Utah Skies

In the sky’s vast infinity one’s soul is manifest loneliness.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

pictures taken by

The Girl Riding Shotgun

Scenes on Sunday ~ Northern Skies

When light fills a Northern Sky, the immensity is scarcely conceivable. 

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Ghostly sunlight can also be cold.

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