Monday, June 22, 2009

Women are by nature Democrats.

I base this on observations of my wife in her wildflower garden. If it were up to me, whichever flowers thrived in our soil and microclimate would be the ones I'd want. But laissez-faire Libertarianism is not for her. She feels a compulsion to mercilessly uproot anything healthy and lush lest it "take over". Species that struggle to survive, however, are pampered. Success is punished and weakness is subsidized. It's the American economic system in microcosm. As a result, the "wildflower garden" is mostly bare dirt with a few struggling, scraggly flowers and a lot of opportunistic weeds. Like I said, the American economic system in microcosm.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Gear that belongs in the Garbage: Hydration systems

"Hydration systems". That's kind of like calling the floor a "horizontal walking surface".

I bought a Blackhawk Hydrastorm years ago, and the bite tube leaked so badly that I gave it away. I was recently issued a Camelback, and it seemed to be of higher quality, so I took it with me on a ten-day trip through the Grand Canyon. It was inconvenient to fill and clean, but at least it was comfortable to carry. 

On the last day, the mouthpiece snapped off and all the water poured out. If that had happened in the middle of a ten-mile backcountry hike in that hot, arid country it would have caused an extremis situation. I left it in a trash can at the airport on the way home.

Pop bottles are lighter, more durable, easier to fill, and they're free. If you absolutely have to spend money, use a Platypus bottle.