Categories
Preparedness

Day 279 and Takeout

I’m not entirely sure when or even how it happened, but I’ve been eating nothing but takeout. I think it’s some “emotional exhalation” around food. When the pandemic first hit I was in Manhattan. As wasn’t yet clear how Covid spread, we locked down in our apartment and cooked every single meal for three straight months. Probably a record in my life for going without ready made meals. But boy did I miss takeout by the end of it.

I’m sure both facts say something about the privilege I have. I can afford to have someone prepare all of my food in restaurants. And when disaster struck I had the time and ability to stay home and cook. Most folks chose their food based on budgets, literal and time.

As I’ve been concerned about the looming supply chain crunch I now think it might be time to flex the cooking at home muscles again. Letting fresh food linger in the fridge without a plan is wasteful. Whether or not I can afford the waste isn’t the point. It’s offensive to the energy and work of the many people who put their livelihood into feeding others.

I feel this especially acutely as my milk and produce come directly from local farmers. I feel like I’m letting down Daphne if our milk isn’t turned into yogurt or ricotta (or at very least put into my morning coffee). Although I will say I have no good plans for the sheer volume of peppers and chilis my farm share produced. In Colorado it is the chili that’s the crop that goes overboard in your CSA box not zucchini or some other squash. I genuinely have no clue what to do with some of more exotic peppers so send me recipes!

Categories
Aesthetics Preparedness

Day 206 and Summer Storms

When I was a kid it was considered common knowledge to “get off the mountain” before the afternoon thundershowers. Along the front range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, the afternoon or evening storm is a mainstay of summer. A quick occasionally terrifying show of nature in all her glory.

Lightning in Rocky Mountain National Park

One minute the sky is clear and the summer heat is bearing down on you, and the next torrential rains with lightning and thunder cracking one after the other explode. Temperatures can drop 20 degrees in as many minutes. The wind is the first sign a storm is bearing down on you. A reminder why it’s wise to pack layers and be prepared with rain gear even on the sunniest day.

I personally love the storms. The relief from the heat is welcome. But it’s more than comfort. It’s the emotions that come with something so powerful bearing down on you. The smell of ozone permeates the air. The excitement and fear from needing to get to safety when the first signs of a storm moving in snow themselves.

Most Coloradan that hike have high country lightning safety training to rely on, but it doesn’t make those bursts of light any less terrifying. The hairs standing on end a visceral reminder why the god of thunder featured so heavily in mythology. The power on display is clear. Thunder clapping as lightning strikes a reminder that you are in the middle of a power that has no interest in you. It just exists.

But like a god, natural phenomena is capricious. As quickly as a mountain storm blows in it blows out. The clouds part. Sun shines through. The occasional rainbow will cross a valley. I just watched a downpour from the safety of my house in the foothills. I guess I still know to be off the mountain before the storm comes. It was a beautiful mesmerizing twenty minutes of rain, lightning, hail and thunder. And then it was gone

Categories
Preparedness

Day 169 and Heatwave

I’m pacing back and forth inside my apartment. I need to get in my steps for the day and it’s simply too hot to go outside. A record (isn’t it always) heatwave has been scorching the American West for the past week. It’s hot. It’s dry. It is miserable.

Earlier in the week I tried getting up at 5am to beat the heat. But even first thing in the morning it was still over 80 degrees making it downright unpleasant to go for my usuals hour long wander. So I haven’t been outside for several days except to sprint into my Subaru and then into an air conditioned doctor’s office. Frankly it’s driving me insane. My body hates it. My mind hates it.

I’m a cold weather person by temperament and culture. I blame it on my Swedish ancestors and growing up in a mountain town in Colorado where I don’t think we even had air conditioning when I was a kid. Now twenty five years later I haven’t turned off the air conditioner in weeks.

The National Weather Service says temperatures are 10-20 degrees above average because of a heat dome. And also because climate change. I honestly think this jet stream fuckery sucks. I don’t understand how we are supposed to live like this.

A backpack containing a first aid kit and other disaster preparedness supplies.

I am grateful we haven’t yet started fire season. Though I know it is coming. All this time indoors should have me going through disaster supplies. And indeed we did redo our medic kit and trauma supplies this week. We even made our list public if you have been considering doing some preparedness of your own. But disasters have a way of blunting your capacity to do anything. So I’ve been pacing inside, my mind racing but accomplishing very little. Fuck this heatwave.

Categories
Chronic Disease Emotional Work

Day 147 and Over My Skis

For a Colorado native (let’s ignore that I was born in Silicon Valley) a number of our most cherished pastimes are kinda “meh” for me. Skiing is a sport that I can take or leave. That apres ski life is much more appealing than cutting it up on the slopes. But one key metaphor from ski culture gets used lot. “I’m over my skis.”

To be over one’s skis is to risk crashing. Being over ones skis happens out of enthusiasm. An inexperienced or unfocused skier lets their center of gravity tilt forward over their knees. Best case scenario, you are simply going too fast and you better “pizza” your skis to slow down. It’s a endearing but slightly awkward experience which is what makes the metaphor so appealing. It’s never a bad faith metaphor merely a goofy oops.

I got over my skis this week. I’ve been so excited for my workload (new investments, new startups to advise) and some new structures forming in my life (chaotic.capital is coming into focus) that I’m leaning in and finding myself going too fast. A friend of mine, who is my favorite person to “over do it” with, was on the phone with me a lot. I was excited to talk to her. But all this added up.

I realized oh shit I need to slow down. I haven’t crashed yet but I’m french frying. There is still time for me to “pizza” or in the immortal words of South Park’s ski instructor Thumper

If you french fry when you should pizza, you’re gonna have a bad time

I love french frying, the food, the ski position and the metaphor for speed. I want get over my skis. But if I don’t pizza “I’m going to have a bad time.” So with true Colorado wisdom it is time to kick back, get some THC and pizza. May this edition of Rocky Mountain wisdom aid you in finding balance on the slopes and off.

Categories
Chronicle Politics

Day 107 and Mountain States

My family made its way to Colorado in the 70s. That makes my brother and I second generation. While we may not have deep roots it’s not arriviste either. This is a concern as roots matter now. Every western state seem to worry about the influx of Californians on their culture. My family participates a bit in this too. Despite me having spent the last 15 years in Manhattan I have plenty of opinions about policy.

So I was fascinated by a series of essays showing what was driving the changing demographics of mountain states and who are actually the California carpetbaggers.

The thesis of the tweet storm by David Neiwart that drew me in was that Tucker Carlson and the recent obsession with replacement theory (in this case Mountain state “natives” are being replaced by liberal Californians but it’s actually code for brown people) was actually ass backwards. It’s the white evangelical population who have been moving from California and resettling in the mountains West. The actual demographic taking space from folks already there isn’t California liberals it’s California conservative!

In Colorado the urban areas of the front range won out over the deep red of the western slopes. Other states in the mountain west may have gone red but we managed to be purple without turning into a California hellscape. So our influx of red have blended with new urban blues for a relatively well governed state.

I do find the entire crisis over those coastal elites coming into the mountain states to be pretty funny. As if the politics of the west were ever really totally homogeneous. Plenty of towns have been liberal and we had Democrats and Republicans representatives. This need to always push narratives of polarization doesn’t do anything for the American people. It’s just more bullshit to entrench for us in our corners.

My politics are traditionally Western states. I’m a small government libertarian and I’m also inclined to let people to do what they want with who they want. Going too much to either side just doesn’t appeal to a lot of mountain state folks. I won’t vote for the Republicans till they drop the fascist populism so while I’m not thrilled by Democrats they have my vote for the moment. Maybe the western states are the moderates we thought were a fantasy all along.