Day 25 (Maint on machines in a mining town)

Miles traveled:  12                                                                                                                    Location: Butte, Montana

Least we Forget: A face and story line  appeared as I wrote some 15 or so post cards. I had to stop and think about the person that was to receive the card as I took each card off the stack. Many of them are in prison for crimes that never existed in the days gone by. Many were borne into circumstances they had no choice about. Where do your hold a person responsible for bad choices when there are no choices. The truth is you can not hold a person responsible for choices when there are no choices.  Who teaches and where are choices taught? Should we hold those responsible for not teaching their children choices. Should we hold our elected officials or spiritual leaders responsible for not making all this clear on the bully pulpit? Who do we hold responsible if the mother is in prison and the father is unknown. The best statistics I have seen are that less than 10 percent of the mothers in prison are married. The best statistics I have seen are that 50 percent of the mothers in prison will never get a visit from their children. A bloody mess is it not?

A near miss: While the shop was putting tires on my motorcycle, was drinking a cup of coffee and my mind drifted back to Grants Pass which is on the Oregon side of I-5 coming up from California. As I remember, the down grade was 6 percent and lots of turns. I was going into a left turn at highway speed and an 18 wheeler was on my right and then there was some idiot trying to crawl up my tail pipe. A tight situation but manageable. Then as I was going into a bend there appeared what looked like the remnants of a 50 pound bag of powdered lime in my lane. Just a lot of white dust and there was no where to go or nothing to do but pray and even then there was not much of a prayer and more like ‘oh shit’ because everything was happening fast but slow. Turns out that the powder was not that thick but then there was not much time to figure it out. Held what I had and went with the situation as it unfolded. Needless to say, nothing passed other than my heart skipping several million beats.

The lungs of the earth: Had quite a bit of time in the bike shop with nothing to do and so I broke out an old paper from our stay in Idaho. In it was an article about fires as the single biggest preservation agent of forests. It appears as if the Mountain Pine Beetle whose job it is to attack old and dying trees was getting out of control by the gazillions. It also turns out that forest fires are mother natures mechanism to control the spread of the mountain pine beetle. As a nation, we have prevented mother nature from periodically burning forests and in turn not controlling the mountain pine beetle but allowing the current forests to mature to the point the older trees are now prime targets for the beetle. The results are two fold. First is the old dying trees attacked by the beetle are no long processing carbon dioxide into oxygen but reverse the process and in turn contributing immensely to global warming. We are talking millions of acres. The second part is even scarier and that is to attack the beetle with chemicals. Imagine hundreds of air planes spreading chemicals over the millions of acres of forests. Of course no one has figured out the collateral damage to the people and food chains caught up in the process. I could go on and on but the simple bottom line is a good argument for living within the Tao. Just knowing that everything we do has a consequence and always to be aware of what we are doing.

The price of copper: Don’t know that I will ever be able to look at a piece of copper wire or any wire for that matter without think of the supper big chunks of mountains that have vanished to bring us the vehicles that transport electricity which has become the manservant of our civilization. This photo was taken from the entrance to the KOA we stayed at while in Butte, Montana. You know, it would not be too big a stretch to say that we have dented huge chunks of our population into prisons so that other sectors could have a stable source of income that would guarantee their financial security. The ex-offenders like the dregs of copper are left on the trash heaps of humanity.

A family farm: This is the first family farm I have seen in traveling over 5,000 miles on the highways and byways of our nation. Yes, I do rag on agribusiness but then doubt there is any other way to feed the 300 plus million gaping mouths of the nation. If I was to say my biggest subjective smell as I pass the agribusiness farms in nitrogen and if my memory serves me well that is one of the single largest sources of pollution to our rivers and streams. It has occurred to me more than once that we may be headed to a Soylent Green solution. It is actually a fascinating DVD available from Netflix Soylent Green to watch.

Serenity:  This I found pasted on the desk of the service manager of the motor cycle shop as I was going over the work order:

                                Serenity:                                                                                                           4 wheels are made to move the body                                                                                      2 wheels are made to move the soul

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