passing notes

west end

English Bay on the longest day

Vancouver, BC

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Aspen, Colorado

Aspen is a beautiful place.  And likely you are thinking of skiing and snow.  But in August the snow is a memory and the sun is hot.
There’s a hot like August in Acapulco – steamy.  There’s a hot like August in Vegas – baking and dense.

It isn’t the temperature so much as the feel.
The hot in Aspen is a standing in front of an inferno hot.  The hot of a scorching conflagration.

Just you and your very close friend, The Sun.

Elevation:  8,000 ft.

The air is thin. The cocoon around you in Vancouver stayed behind as you flew off for the heights of Colorado.  I wondered what it would be like to get Colorado high, but most of my processing software also didn’t make the journey.  It seemed ill advised to exacerbate this light headed situation by smoking up in the park before trekking to my building through the hills and valleys, mostly hills.  Then the worst part:  3 flights of stairs.

No one spoke with that person coming through the door until they sat in The Chair for a while. There was a lot of recovery happening in that chair.

Still, it would have come to pass if someone had told me ahead of time the herbal pharmacy required passport I.D.

What to do in Aspen?
There is a bookstore in a house. Yes, a bookstore in a house!  It has a sofa.  And lamps.  Upstairs is a restaurant, Pyramid Bistro, serving coffee and peach cobbler with ice cream.  Explore Booksellers, 221 East Main Street.

I’m craving the green curry at the Bangkok Happy Bowl Thai Bistro in the mall on North Mill Street where the very expensive Clark’s grocery store is, and the all important liquor store.

You can go up Aspen Mountain in a gondola to 11,000 ft.  And that my friend is pretty darn high.

Off in the distance are some of the highest mountains in the Rockies.

Before going back down, best to stop at the bar for a drink, a strong drink. Because you remember the terror as strong winds tossed your little gondola around like a balsa wood hand glider on the way up.

 

There is the Aspen Gallery, where it is said an officer of the store threw a customer out for saying he was an artist.
Intrigued, I made a visit.

Lovely art.

After 10 minutes the man on duty was getting a little testy.  I hastily took my leave.

The drive to the ghost town at Independence Pass takes less than an hour. The buildings there have mostly disappeared. Did they sink into the ground?

It’s windy.  It’s hot like Lucifer’s Halloween bonfire.

Why is there no working outhouse in the ghost town at Independence Pass?  How many $5 bills does the donation box need to take the padlock off the door of one of those little outhouses and make my day?

Aspen has a community center with an alleged pool. When is it open though?

Do you like bears?  I hope so.   There are deer also.

And there is the Aspen Center for Physics.

It’s in there.

Public lectures are held Thursday evenings.  The final talk of the season, Turning Stars into Gold: The Discovery of the First Kilonova by Iair Arcav, reset the bar.  They saved the best for last.

On the walk to the Aspen Center for Physics there are elegant old houses, preserved, injected with Restalin, Forever Young lotion slathered into their aging wooden siding.
Among them, the home of the late physicist, Murray Gell-Mann.

I’ve heard he didn’t get along very well with one of my favourites,

Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

“All things come to those who wait”

All hoped-for things will come to you
Who have the strength to watch and wait,
Our longings spur the steeds to Fate,
This has been said by one who knew.

‘Ah, all things come to those who wait,’
(I say these words to make me glad),
But something answers soft and sad,
‘They come, but often come too late.’

by Lady Mary Montgomerie Currie “Violet Fane”
Tout vient a qui sait attendre

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Dear Reader

How are you holding up?  So many countries, you are always on the go.  Do you like flying?  I hope so.

When you aren’t in the U.K. or Brazil, Italy, France and all those other places, you come to Canada.  Do you like it the best?

I’ll pour some wine.

That solar vortex they’ve been talking about, it’s hit Vancouver.  It is very beautiful but cold.  Whistler cold.  Antarctica cold.  Ok, not that cold.

The wine is good.  Prophecy  Pinot Noir  California

Have you ever been to California?  It’s wonderful!  I feel like a million the moment I step off that plane…It’s winter here, it’s dark, people are coughing.

The drive to the airport…

A lot of drugs and alcohol later, a balmy breeze ruffles my freshly coiffed hair, gently dispersing the Chanel Chance green I bought at the duty free.  Flowering cacti blanket the sandy hills.  But I digress …

I’ve been meaning to express my appreciation.  You’ve been with me for 10 years. Thank you!

Every now and then I look for where you are, and wonder what you’re doing there.  What are you doing there?  Really?

I’m going to California soon.  The sun will be setting.  The air will be sweet.

You were in Egypt yesterday.  Is the terrain similar?  Have you been to the pyramids?  Does the desert bloom?

So many questions.  I’m more of a listener.

Dear Reader, enjoy your travels.  Stay in touch.

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Address to a Haggis by Robert Burns

In Scottish

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin’-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye worthy o’ a grace
As lang’s my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o need,
While thro your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An cut you up wi ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive:
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
The auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
‘Bethankit’ hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi perfect scunner,
Looks down wi sneering, scornfu view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither’d rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He’ll make it whissle;
An legs an arms, an heads will sned,
Like taps o thrissle.

Ye Pow’rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies:
But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer,
Gie her a Haggis

English translation

Your pin would help to mend a mill
In time of need,
While through your pores the dews distill
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour wipe,
And cut you up with ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like any ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm steaming, rich!

Then spoon for spoon, the stretch and strive:
Devil take the hindmost, on they drive,
Till all their well swollen bellies by-and-by
Are bent like drums;
Then old head of the table, most like to burst,
‘The grace!’ hums.

Is there that over his French ragout,
Or olio that would sicken a sow,
Or fricassee would make her vomit
With perfect disgust,
Looks down with sneering, scornful view
On such a dinner?

Poor devil! see him over his trash,
As feeble as a withered rush,
His thin legs a good whip-lash,
His fist a nut;
Through bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit.

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his ample fist a blade,
He’ll make it whistle;
And legs, and arms, and heads will cut off
Like the heads of thistles.

You powers, who make mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill of fare,
Old Scotland wants no watery stuff,
That splashes in small wooden dishes;
But if you wish her grateful prayer,
Give her [Scotland] a Haggis!

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She said

She said:  You seemed a little tentative last time I brought trifle.

20 minutes after dinner, while she’s freshening up,

then midnight to 2 should finish it.

She said:  But I know you like custard

… still a few hours tomorrow morning before the noon deadline …

She said:  So I made it myself

Bernie’s away. I’ll have to chair the directors’ meeting.

She looks very pleased with herself.

Check the agenda.

She said:  I did keep the jello. I know you like raspberries!

Ok…, distracted now by the open wine …

Good, as long as no one wants to add Other Business …

She said:  Mmmm

She’s smelling it.

I probably won’t need the time anyway, but it’ll take the pressure off.

She likes it.

She said:  Ouzo?

“Sure!”

Those grey sheer curtains aren’t working. That was their mistake. I know I ordered …

She said:  Cheers!

“Cheers!”

clink

I’ll be in the Review at least until 2, last time it was after 3,

…what is the topic?

She is very pretty,

warm eyes.

She said:  Earth to Asteroid 8240, come in…

She seems so happy to see me.

I love her laugh.

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roller coaster

Don’t like them; … the highs, ok, they’re good.

But screaming down that hill into the abyss:  The lows. They suck.

Every now and then a slight tremor, a gentle shake, even a humorous jolt – one every long while is ok.

Smooth gliding, just coast, that’s what I want.

Not bad surprises around the bend, tears, spasms in the gut, that nauseous feeling and what comes next.

Nope. No siree.  Don’t need it.

A multitude of glistening spheres bubbling up from the depths, an awesome surprise, yes, bring that on.

Jiggles, giggles, fantasy come true.

The magical ride, that one over there with the golden lights

picking up a little speed as it heads for the tunnel…

 

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September 30, 2017 @ 6:07 p.m. pdt

“How am I supposed to breathe when you take my breath away?” (Greg Sczebel)

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