did someone muck with the backend here

Re: Friday

1

On #2, you can get fairly light stuff for hiking now. I've been fairly cheap about it, but I still have a pack with less than 15 pounds of gear (minus food and water). People willing to spend bunches of money or take more chances carry quite a bit less.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 6:54 AM
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I also have a stove that will charge my phone, but I've never carried it hiking. It's kind of messy and also heavy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 6:57 AM
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Thanks for posting this heebie! Everyone please read the article, it's short and horrifyingly importantly informative!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 7:26 AM
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It sounds a lot like you do not see the appeal of such a hike.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 7:32 AM
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You get to be alone with your thoughts for 8 hours of exercising in pretty scenery. Then you get to sleep on the ground. If I wanted to be cut off from society for two months, I could do that from my own bed.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 7:36 AM
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You can get a hammock.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 7:38 AM
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Does anyone do any desert hiking? I need a recommendation for a good pair of boots. I used to have a pair of excellent Asolo boots I wore out and then some until they got a stink in them I could not kill. But they'd be far too heavy and hot for the kind of hiking I have in mind, mostly in Oman, but may take them elsewhere, (possibly even SE Asia, etc).


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 7:43 AM
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Sandals?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 7:47 AM
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You could do worse than picking up The Complete Walker.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 7:48 AM
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Texas Ranger.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 7:49 AM
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10: Silly heebie! Of course it's the collected writings and speeches of the distinguished governor of Wisconsin.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 7:50 AM
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That's not even on Kindle.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 7:52 AM
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probably within fifteen years, phones and battery packs would make it so that you can get in your tent and hop online every night.

It's even a category on Amazon.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 7:52 AM
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9 Read it to pieces maybe 20-25 years ago. So good. Has it been seriously revised since then? Maybe I should revisit it.

If 8 is serious, there's some fair amount of technical terrain and some moderate mountain climbing (Jabal Shams) I'd like to do.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 7:52 AM
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They now make closed-toe sandals for hiking. Maybe not so good for the parts of the desert with sand, but they would be cool.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 7:55 AM
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Oh! I looked it up, and apparently the specific thing was the tidal bore you get at the mouth of the Indus, which does sound super freaky and alarming. They thought it was a one-off terrible event.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 7:58 AM
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Oops, wrong thread, sorry!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 7:59 AM
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Wrong thread?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 7:59 AM
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Let me be the first to suggest.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 7:59 AM
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14: volume four came out within the last ten years, with a co-author. Fletcher himself has walked through time and space since.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 8:00 AM
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Oh, the newest volume is actually from 2001. His coauthor seems pretty interesting.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 8:01 AM
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22 I'll take a look.

I think gswift, CCarp and ajay have done some desert hiking, maybe Halford, heebie, anyone else? Been meaning to post this for awhile.*

*Seemed like a good opportunity, didn't mean to step on the TSS part of the post**, my response was is this still a thing? I still remember the first time around. Yet sadly it is.

** I blame heebie.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 8:11 AM
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22: I sent a note to a friend who does a lot of field work in desert conditions. She said that many people seem to think the Lowa Zephyr is a good and reasonably priced option. I just googled, and it seems like it's at least a real boot.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 8:29 AM
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22: [Gazes at a far-off horizon, squints at the fast-approaching sunset, lets the wind ruffle his dusty yet still well-kempt hair.]


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 8:34 AM
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Do boots really help? Not just for deserts. I just went hiking in my old running shoes. And now I have a bad limp whenever I first start to walk instead of the slight limp I used to have.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 8:39 AM
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24: Can we pan down to your boots now?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 8:39 AM
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I would totally love to do an extended walk, like across the country. I've always wanted to. But I wouldn't want to do it entirely in nature. Backroads would suit me better than hiking, I think.

I'll probably try a long bike trip first. My sister and I are looking at trips we could do with our families next summer.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 8:47 AM
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I'd be up for a long road trip in a nice RV.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 8:48 AM
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I enjoy walks around my neighborhood even when my dog isn't into it.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 8:52 AM
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22: I've done a bit of desert stuff - Magnum makes a decent desert boot, good ankle support but it might be a bit heavy if you're just planning on walking on flat trails rather than scrambling. I don't know the Lowa Zephyr, but Lowa make good boots in general and it seems reasonable to assume that the Zephyr is OK.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 8:56 AM
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The nicest recreational vehicle is the human body, ogged.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:02 AM
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Horsey rides for all.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:05 AM
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I've never really understood 'ankle support'. Boots aren't holding your ankle stiff to the point that you couldn't bend it far enough to injure it, are they? If they are, I've never had boots that fit. If that's not what ankle support means, what does it mean?

Boots, rather than shoes, make sense to me as protecting your ankles from abrasions/impact and keeping water out, but I kind of don't believe in support.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:08 AM
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IOW, get yourself a nice pair of canvas sneakers and go.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:08 AM
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(All advice here should be understood to come from some someone who is hopelessly urban in every sense other than being either well-dressed or otherwise cultured.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:09 AM
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23 Thanks VW!

30 I'll take a look at the Lowa Zephyr's and the Magnum. I really loved my Asolo's and wondering if they have something suitable. I'll be doing a fair bit of scrambling and some light mountain climbing (Jabal Shams and comparable). Magnum's good for that?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:11 AM
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I've never really understood 'ankle support'. Boots aren't holding your ankle stiff to the point that you couldn't bend it far enough to injure it, are they?

I basically agree with your point, but this isn't how support works. It's not a rigid cuff intended to prevent a wide range of motion. It's supposed to...I've taken so long to write this sentence that I'm sure I'm pwned by now.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:16 AM
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It's supposed to be just a less flexible version of your own ankles, so that you don't move so easily into an injury. There.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:17 AM
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What if my ankle is already very inflexible?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:17 AM
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36.last: well, that's what I was doing in them, so yes.

38: correct. Although I was limping like a historian of the 19th century American West most of last week due to an ankle injury sustained while wearing boots, so it's not a perfect defence.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:23 AM
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"Limping like a historian" is good.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:24 AM
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The AMC huts in the White Mountains are spread out to intentionally be one day hikes apart, assuming reasonable weather. They provide meals and blankets/beds so all you need to bring are day hiking things and a sleep sack. I think there are about a dozen so you can do a 2-week hike. Most are also reachable as a day trip which we've done twice as overnights with the kids up to the easiest one.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:28 AM
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This thread reminds me to try to get an appointment for physical therapy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:30 AM
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Actually 8 huts and 2 lodges.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:30 AM
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I remain unconvinced.

Barry: hike naked. Anything more than sunscreen is unmanly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:32 AM
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Ever since my phone started keeping track of how far I walked, it's become very obvious that the sole predictor of how much I will limp in any given day is how much I walked the day before.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:33 AM
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You really notice the ankle support if you're walking over rocks or other uneven surfaces.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:33 AM
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As soon as we got off the mountains this summer I was trying to work out how to spend fourteen days in them next summer. Half of the point of such a walk is to be without internet or any other distractions. It's kind of like meditation except that the equipment is expensive and you get rained on a lot.

However, this plan may not come off, since my first wife has inveigled me into trying to cycle 300km round lake Vättern with her next June and I doubt I will survive. What a wonderfully long-nurtured revenge that would be!


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:34 AM
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The terrain of the trail made me decide to get hiking poles, but I wonder if the stiffer sole of a hiking boot wouldn't be a big help the trail is basically all rock.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:35 AM
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The AMC huts in the White Mountains are spread out to intentionally be one day hikes apart, assuming reasonable weather.

So in the event of a sudden change in the weather for the worse, you can't reach shelter? Who thought that up?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:36 AM
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Barry: hike naked. Anything more than sunscreen is unmanly.

But cover your genitals. Every known culture covers their genitals.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:37 AM
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Like ajay said, Lowa tends to make good stuff so if they fit your foot right you probably won't go wrong with them. If you're willing to get a bit spendy then Kenetrek is another option.

http://www.kenetrek.com/KENETREK-DESERT-GUIDE/productinfo/KE-420-DG/


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:41 AM
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5. You are only alone with your thoughts if you choose to be. People hiking the AT seem to form ad hoc groups that, as members speed up or slow down, gain or lose members. Some people do the "alone" thing, but far more are social. Almost everyone takes a "trail name," so there's anonymity if you want it. Sort of a mobile Unfogged.

The existence of cell phones and the internet has changed the experience a lot even since Bryson's book. A lot of the mileage of the trail is within range of a cell tower, so hikers can coordinate supply deliveries from friends or family, which used to be really a big logistical issue.

44. There are plans to build another hut off the Ethan Pond Trail to cut one of the longer stretches in half and provide another easily accessed family-with-young-kids hut.

The AMC huts in the Whites aren't really designed for AT through hikers, though. You have to reserve a bunk, often quite far in advance if it's a weekend day. They usually can allow a couple of through hikers to sleep in a common area or deck, but they can't accommodate all of them.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:45 AM
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Almost everyone takes a "trail name," so there's anonymity if you want it.

Bismarck is now available.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:47 AM
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45.2 You can't even hike naked in the UK without getting arrested. I'm not going to give it a try in Oman. OTOH and in re 51 see: http://www.unfogged.com/archives/comments_14907.html#1835429


52 Those Kenetrek's look nice too and are comparable in price to my lamented Asolo's.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:53 AM
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45.2 You can't even hike naked in the UK without getting arrested.

What does the Rambler's Association even do???


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:56 AM
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Just "The Ramblers" now apparently. Still.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:57 AM
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I hiked the John Muir Trail, did a five-day hike in the Grand Canyon, and did other hiking in trail-oriented running/cross-training shoes. Not like the light ones, more like hiking boots with lower cut ankles. This was all 1993-1995. That style of shoe may no longer exist.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:57 AM
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Those AMC huts seem really nice. We don't have anything like that here. I guess I could hike there. Take the GAP to Cumberland, then C&O to Harper's Ferry to get to the Appalachian Trail.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 10:01 AM
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58: I think that's pretty common now.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 10:01 AM
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55.1 Not sure what happened that made that all stretched out like that.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 10:04 AM
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Said the bishop to the actress.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 10:05 AM
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Boots protect ankles from venomous snakebites.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 10:05 AM
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It was controversial at the time. The Jardine guide to the PCT pushed for them but when I did an Outward Bound course in Utah they required boots. I got blisters, but it was ok.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 10:06 AM
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62 to 60.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 10:06 AM
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What does the Rambler's Association even do???

Fight to gain and retain access, mostly. I think. TBH, anybody who wants to hike naked in Britain must be a bit mental.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 10:07 AM
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Jardine is now selling kits that let you make his style of pack, tarp tent, and quilt. I almost bought one (for the quilt) before realizing that I can't sew and never finish kits anyway. And I found a very cheap down quilt.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 10:08 AM
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Pistorius-style running blades for non-amputees are available for optimal snakebite protection.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 10:09 AM
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63: How do the boots know to let the non-venomous bites through?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 10:11 AM
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But you only get the full effect when combined with a Pistorius style handgun


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 10:12 AM
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Just try to roll your ankles while bounding across the country in a Dark Crystal landstrider costume. Can't be done.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 10:12 AM
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I have horrendous ankles--broken, ligaments torn, sprained, etc.--and found that what helps avoid rolling them is just being closer to the ground, i.e., super-thin soles. So I hike in "barefoot" shoes (these), including some scrambling and such. I'm not recommending them, but it might be something to consider trying on a short outing, or as a backup pair on a longer one. They're murder if you're on concrete, though.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 10:25 AM
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Those look just like baby shoes, except all black.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 10:26 AM
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I think those would also be murder on the rocks of the Laurel Highland Trail.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 10:26 AM
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Hiking poles are meant to be particularly good for taking strain off your knees going downhill.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 10:27 AM
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They're fine on rocky terrain. It's flat concrete that hurts.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 10:30 AM
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I don't see how stepping on rocks is different from stepping on concrete.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 10:35 AM
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The difference, impact-wise, between picking your way and striding, I'd think. Something that's flat and hard will kill your knees if your shoes don't have cushioning, but a scramble over rocks won't in the same way at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 10:39 AM
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I exclusively use barefoot shoes, and I walk a lot on all surfaces, with a bit of sprinting and jogging thrown in. I completely buy the idea that being close to the ground helps avoid ankle injury, as does the increased sensitivity, the habitually lighter footfall, and the greater reliance on and consequent strenghtening of the calf muscles. Concrete doesn't bother me anymore (except after I've played, e.g., basketball; evidently my sport mechanics haven't kept up with my footwear change). I do occasionally bruise my soles when stepping on a tree root or sharp rock. If I were wearing a heavy shoe when this happens I wonder if my ankle would turn more. As it is, the bottoms of my feet kind of grip or adapt to the protrusion.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 10:45 AM
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LB gets it.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 10:45 AM
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There are stretches of continuous rock that isn't appreciably less smooth than some of the shittier patches of sidewalk.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 10:47 AM
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But you're not striding along those for long.

79 was my experience walking/scrambling/hiking in Samoa, where I was mostly in flipflops, worn thin enough that they sort of molded to whatever I was stepping on.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 10:52 AM
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I did find that Vibram barefoot soles wear through relatively quickly (again, I walk a lot). Vivobarefoot shoes are more durable, but the harder sole also makes them quite a bit more slippery.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 10:55 AM
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Oh well heebie has at least one daughter and she read the article, yay! I hope LB, gswift, RT, C Carpenter, Megan (nieces I think?), and everyone else with daughters at least skims it but at any rate if a young woman you love is unwell abdominally make super certain to ask if she is or recently has been using a tampon because you may save her life and for the love of god the risk of bloody sheets is far preferable to death DO NOT let them wear super absorbent tampons overnight.

And now you can all imagine exactly how embarrassing and annoying a step mum I was! I still think my best moment was the long convo about pros cons of hormonal birth control.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 10:55 AM
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This is stupid for people advice who aren't on the stupid site anyway, but Vivobarefoot shows up relatively often on Zulily and right now I'm wearing a (men's, but who cares?) pair I got for 20 bucks that goes for 325 on Zappos, though that particular price may have been a mistake or something. I'm a fan.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 10:59 AM
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No idea why phone decided to forget me but, obvs, me.

Barefoot shoes are hilarious. Especially if the wearer is doing that jog a few steps forward, then backward, then forward, etc. Through the crowds on the path between Aquatic Park and Fort Mason. With his supremely embarrassed mate in tow. Was an awesome spectacle.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 11:00 AM
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Thorn!!!! 3 daughters!!! And all you countless lurkers, you too.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 11:01 AM
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My wife made the wise decision not to have her daughter use tampons at all -- although she has certainly messed up a lot of clothes and sheets.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 11:03 AM
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Dairy Queen, I read it! I know about synthetics in tampons and TSS! Don't worry!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 11:05 AM
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Thank you Thorn!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 11:08 AM
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86: Barefoot != Vibram FiveFingers?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 11:09 AM
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The vestigial looking thingies with separated toes. Was it YOU, Eggplant????? Wow.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 11:10 AM
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No.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 11:27 AM
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Concrete or tarmac kills your joints not just because it is hard but because you are hitting it the same way stride after stride. Uneven ground has more variety.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 11:36 AM
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On a tarmac, the main danger is being hit by an airplane.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 11:40 AM
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Bummer.

ajay - goddaughter! Expect you to have sensible convo when the time comes. You knew when you signed up it wouldn't be all thrilling helicopter fighter jet rocket rides.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 11:43 AM
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94: I solve this by wearing heels.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 11:46 AM
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96: indeed. Still a few years off, but will do.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 11:48 AM
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Do they even sell the Five Fingers anymore? I haven't seen those in years, since even if you're barefoot oriented there's no reason to wear them other than to show that you don't give a FUCK about aesthetics.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 11:53 AM
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50- The nice staff at the huts read the weather report out loud every morning. And only one of them is at a really high elevation on the shoulder of Mt. Washington where conditions might be significantly dangerous as opposed to uncomfortable.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 11:53 AM
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What if you're at a hut staffed exclusively by assholes?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 11:55 AM
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There's lots of 'em at the gym and it's in the Castro, seems to be part of an aesthetic. An unsuccessful aesthetic in my opinion but a coherent one. Me being about as far from the target audience as it is possible to be.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 11:56 AM
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99: They start at $80, per Zappos. I think they should make a version that looks like a hobbit foot.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 11:56 AM
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You'd sooner catch me hiking naked than in those five fingers thingies. Ugh.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 12:08 PM
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The quantity of sunscreen I would require to hike naked is sort of stupendous to contemplate. Maybe I could do a midnight naked hike, like Dorothy Wordsworth was always going on about.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 12:50 PM
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You could try someplace heavily forested.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 12:55 PM
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I think gswift, CCarp and ajay have done some desert hiking, maybe Halford, heebie, anyone else?

Hi! I'm not much help on boots, though. A lot of my desert hiking has been with NPS-issued boots. I also have some Timberlands that I've used that seem to work well, but I don't have them with me so I don't know the exact model, and I don't see anything quite like them on the Timberland website anyway.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 1:46 PM
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You don't need boots.
All you need are Kids, a blanket, and a shower curtain.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 1:50 PM
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What if you're at a hut staffed exclusively by assholes?

There's lots of 'em at the gym and it's in the Castro, seems to be part of an aesthetic.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 1:55 PM
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Castro's aesthetic is a track suit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 1:57 PM
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I still mean to hike the whole Laurel Highland Trail some day but I do think that will take physical therapy. Or maybe yoga, but that sounds more expensive.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 2:02 PM
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Thanks, dq. I'll be discussing that with my daughters, for sure (things I did not anticipate in my youth: having extensive discussions with my daughters about their periods).


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 2:06 PM
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Yay! Also show them the jazz playing hedgehog in the other thread it is wonderful.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 2:09 PM
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Basically, I need to be able to walk 20 miles a day before I can do the LHT. That would make it something in the "long weekend" range. But I can't do 20 miles and then walk the next day.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 2:13 PM
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Castro gym aesthetic.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 2:16 PM
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I have done some desert hiking as well as hiking in desert-like conditions (for ex, in scree on the dry side of certain Cascade peaks). These are my boots, and I am well pleased with them.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 2:17 PM
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I was thinking of the old Cuban guy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 2:19 PM
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107 I forgot teo, and your previous job. NPS issued boots sounds cool though.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 2:24 PM
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Eh, they're just ordinary boots, really.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 2:24 PM
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||

This is just the teeniest of bitching: a colleague is organizing a meal train for another colleague who just had twins. I thought to myself, "you know, with Jammies travelling three weeks in a row, I think I'll sit this one out."

I guess her turnout has been lackluster, because she emailed me individually. Of course I'm happy to help, but I am willing to bet that the male colleagues in my department were not also pestered. (The male colleagues also mostly do not have kids.)

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 2:27 PM
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Burger King or the backpacking meals that only require you to add boiling water?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 2:35 PM
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Speaking of backpacking, I figure twenty miles a day would require twelve hours of daylight between walking and breaks and time to set up/take down. That means October and November are probably out even though the weather can be good.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 2:39 PM
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122: Twenty miles a day? Even the Bataan Death March didn't involve that kind of mileage.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 2:48 PM
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It probably did. Also, I'll be better fed and hydrated.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 2:50 PM
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That's only ten hours walking if you figure 2mph.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 2:58 PM
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124: According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, it was 66 miles over 5-10 days. I did about 12 miles a day on the Wonderland Trail. That was pretty hard, and I wasn't even being bayoneted at the time.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 3:02 PM
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AHMEMSAHIB, I once did 30 miles in a day because of a map-reading error. Brutal, and I was carrying only a day pack, but the bird-watching was amazeballs.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 3:04 PM
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I'm not going to look at a bird unless it's freeze dried and in an meal pouch.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 3:10 PM
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Blandings and I talked for a while with a guy three weeks into his AT. He said that he was averaging about 6-8 miles a day, and sleeping 12 hours a night.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 3:11 PM
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Twenty miles a day is entirely possible for a fit adult with a light load over easy ground. That's less than seven hours a day actual marching. Get up, march two hours, stop for a break and a brew. . March two more hours, lunch. March two more, tea. March another hour and you're done for the day. Nine hours including breaks.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 3:14 PM
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127 where was that?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 3:17 PM
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Dude, we don't call it "marching". It's hiking, and it's supposed to be fun.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 3:18 PM
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131: Steens Mountain/Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Desert hike. Halfway through, vultures were circling above.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 3:19 PM
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It's not easy ground. The 2 mph is based on experience. The guide says 1.5 mph is what you should plan on but I'm faster than that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 3:20 PM
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MPH is what it is, but all I can say is that I'm pretty thrashed after 12 miles or so if I'm carrying a full pack, even with the lightweight stuff they have now.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 3:25 PM
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Six miles a day is way too little. According to my phone, I average five now.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 3:29 PM
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We (2 high school kids and my dad, early 50s) averaged over 10 miles per day for three weeks on the Muir trail. By the end, it wasn't difficult to walk 3 miles/hour, cover 10 miles before lunch - if we felt like it.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 3:29 PM
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136: Well, yeah, six miles a day is for pussies.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 3:31 PM
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My last hiking trip was ca. 6 miles a day and it was wonderfully relaxing.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 3:33 PM
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138 to 139. Anyway, it depends on the terrain, obvs. The major hikes I've done most recently, the Wonderland around Rainier and the Timberline around Hood, involved a lot of going up and down over ridges, so I suppose I've covered more miles over flatter ground.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 3:38 PM
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Terrain and going make a big difference. Add another hour for every 2000 feet climbed, for a start.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 3:45 PM
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Over really nasty ground with a heavy (60lb) pack, sustaining 2. 5mph is extremely good going - that's what they expect you to manage during special forces selection test marches.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 3:47 PM
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134. On our most recent hike (a day hike in the Whites to bag a 4000 footer) we did 10 miles in 7 hours*. I find that given the different abilities of the various hikers in the group, the possibility of views, and a lunch, that's pretty normal. If you are really booking it, 2 mph or even more is certainly feasible, depending on terrain and weather. A duo or singleton can go like an antelope if they are in shape, but groups are almost always slower.

A lot of through hikers get to NH and can't believe how tough it is for the (comparatively) small number of miles.

* Students of the 4000 footers** will be able to identity which mountain pretty easily.

** I know, I know, out West a 4000 footer doesn't even have a name. Come east and try one some time.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 3:56 PM
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The Jardine strategy of walking a bit before breakfast, walking after dinner, works pretty well and doesn't make it seem like you're marching. I've walked 20-30 miles in a day before, but I don't think for more than 3 days in a row.

The other thing is that if you're out for a long trip, and don't get sick or injured early on, you get in better shape. On the Muir trail trip, we went 23 or so miles a couple weeks in because we were close enough to Tuolomne Meadows that it made more sense to go to the regular campground than camp a few miles away. We could not have done that so casually during our first week.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 3:57 PM
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The entire Muir trail is over 4000 feet the whole time. Sometimes it climbs 4000 feet to reach a pass.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 3:59 PM
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I thought walking after dinner was to keep the bears from your tent.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 4:11 PM
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I've done hut-to-hut hikes in the WMs for the past few summers and had a pleasant, though on occasion surprisingly strenuous, time: some of the trails are all rocks, all the time, for miles and miles (e.g., while climbing Mt. W.). Very taxing, tough on the boot soles.

The WM huts and hut staff are very pleasant, but I must put in a good word for the High Sierra Camps in Yosemite. They are all much, much, much lovelier, smaller and more pleasant and satisfying to reach than anything in the WMs.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 5:18 PM
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A lot of thru-hikers use low-cut trail runners, not boots. I'm of this philosophy. I have a really weak left ankle that I turn every now and then, but I find that the turns are less bad when I'm wearing trail runners that are closer to the ground, than when I'm wearing heavily padded boots. The padding makes it harder for me to feel the ground and also makes me more complacent, and these are the factors that cause ankle-turning.

Also if you're talking thru-hiking, lightweight trail runners dry a lot faster than boots, which is handy for crossing streams.

Moby: I've done the LHHT in four days before. I enjoyed it but it's definitely not for first timers. The shelters are spaced such that you have 18-20 mile days, some with 6000+ feet of elevation gain, if you do it in 4 days. If you do it in 5 days or more you can make it such that all days are sub-15 miles, which I recommend for all except really experienced backpackers.


Posted by: Ponder Stibbons | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 5:54 PM
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You're right that five days probably would be better, but I was thinking of trying to build to 20 mile days, not just wander out there. I was able to do a 16 mile day out there already. I just couldn't do two of them in a row. I'm thinking hiking poles might make the difference, along with conditioning.

The thing about five days is I think I still need that 20 mile day, basically. You can't do five days and less than 15 miles a day. Going north, the first shelters are at 6 and 18 miles. Also, those are the most steep miles.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 6:19 PM
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You really need five and a half days to keep it under 15 a day. If you start in the south late in the day, you can make the first shelter (six miles). Then 12 miles on a full day, the day with the hardest climb. Then 13 miles. Then 14 miles. Then 11 miles. Then 13 miles.

You can't start going south with a half day and finish in five more days without a long day. You'll either need more time or one day of close to 20 miles.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 6:31 PM
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I was once in a group of 12 that canoed some ridiculous mileage in a 14 hour day on a river. Didn't even get out to eat, had lunch as a pontoon. I can't remember the mileage because at the time we discussed it in km, I think it was something like 40 or 50 miles.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 6:33 PM
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142: Yeah, my normal, unencumbered city walking pace is just a bit faster than 2.5 mph. The day I hiked ~25 miles with a ~35 lb. pack, I think it took me about 13 hours, and that was mostly walking on the side of paved country roads (though it was somewhat hilly terrain for the most part).


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 6:36 PM
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had lunch as a pontoon

"You guys go ahead and eat while I keep you afloat."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 6:38 PM
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The Allegheny Front Trail is, I think, better for me in terms of distance and not being stupid hilly. That could be three days of less than 15 miles. The reason I like the LHHT for getting into to hiking is that much of it seems to have cell phone reception, it crosses about a dozen major roads, is really easy to navigate, and there's just generally less of an issue if for some reason I can't keep walking.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 6:43 PM
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76 &ff: It ain't the 'eavy 'aulin as 'urts the 'osses 'ooves, hit's the 'ammer, 'ammer, 'ammer on the 'ard 'igh road.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 7:16 PM
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Huh, I had not realized that GoLite went out of business. That's too bad. I only have one of their packs, but I like it.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 7:17 PM
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I've been watching YouTube videos of people who camp with old-school bedrolls and haversacks. If I put my bedding in a roll, I could get everything else in my briefcase. Then I could hike the trail dressed in work clothes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 7:45 PM
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I've also learned that duckweed is very high protein, in case I ever become confident enough in my skills to try to eat the edible part of pond scum.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 7:49 PM
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Pond scum:
Dozens, the Snapping Turtle
Hella Sketch Frog
Crunk the Skunk
J.D. Tadpole
The Sleazy Geese
The Duck of Death
Richie the Leech


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 7:58 PM
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For shorter (under 10 mile) hikes I just wear my trail-running shoes. Since I don't usually hike more than a few miles at a time, that's sufficient. I like having a rock plate, but otherwise I prefer having a little bit more ground feel on rocky terrain.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:45 PM
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159: Sounds like a hit sitcom to me!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-25-15 9:48 PM
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My wife's cousin has been pretty busy with the White Mountains. His goal is to climb every 4000 foot peak in New Hampshire. At night. In winter.

There are 48 of them, so far I think he's done about 37.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-26-15 6:01 AM
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Has he considered using dynamite to reduce the remainder?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-15 6:55 AM
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No, he's very conscientious about avalanche risk.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-26-15 7:01 AM
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I've been avoiding deserts for the last 30 years, mostly successfully. I mostly wear hiking shoes -- not boots -- but have 2 pairs of boots (lighter Keens, heavier Vasque) that I wear if it's going to be rocky. Which depends on how rocky.

Don't forget the PNT -- Pacific Northwest Trail -- which runs from the continental divide to the Pacific, just south of Canada. It's shorter than the north-south trails, way less crowded. I'd kind of like to develop a map of what parts are bikeable -- I'm planning to meet with the federal bureaucrats in charge of the thing this winter to push that a little -- and I've skied some of it.

I've also XCd some of the CDT, and should probably ski more of it. And biked some.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-26-15 7:14 AM
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I've been thinking more about this and I decided that I really should learn to use a map and compass. Also the GPS thing. I once went the wrong way on the trail because I couldn't remember which end of the needle pointed north (helpful mnemonic device: it's like Civil War re-enacting, the whites look longingly to the South) and I didn't realize if the GPS couldn't see the satellite because of all the fucking trees, it would just say whatever direction you happened to have been holding it the last time you were in a clearing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-15 6:38 PM
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Also map and compass is reasonably fun and can lead you to weird friendly hobbies like orienteering or geocaching. Sets you up well for a long nerdy happy middle age. (Unless you get eaten by a bear.)

Very handy mnemonic.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-26-15 7:21 PM
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The bear isn't the biggest danger. The real problem is that eventually I would start filling the caches with powder and notes reading "You now have Ebola."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-15 7:40 PM
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Yeah, the whole "Typhoid Mary" thing doesn't work quite as well with Ebola.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-26-15 9:15 PM
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I hesitate to post this, but: for everyone up thread who seems to be assuming a trade off between ground feel and proper ankle support, these barefoot boots are perfect on both counts. I have a pair, and they are great. Buy them on sale and not at full price, of course. There is a 15% off sale now; there are periodically larger sales if you want to wait. But they are great boots.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 4:18 AM
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I've also heard good things about Lems Boulder Boots. Those look like they have potential. But I've never tried them personally.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 4:21 AM
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man, I'm jealous about the hiking. husband x and I used to walk up into the berkeley hills a few hours a day most days of the week. once I walked 20 miles over a horse trail that my step-mother was riding on. walking in the tropics=no though. I walked through the lovely botanical gardens' primary rainforest section one time and saw the biggest spiders I've ever seen, two different webs between trees. I didn't know whether I was the first one on the trail that morning so I walked the rest of the way with my hand out in a slantwise heil hitler salute so that my face couldn't ever be the first thing into a web. and there are cobras in the park by my house. so many cobras though. :/


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 4:48 AM
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63 to 172.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 4:59 AM
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Huh, those boots look great.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 6:38 AM
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We have garter snakes in my neighborhood. I'm not afraid.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 6:58 AM
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I dunno, those things can be poisonous.

I don't think they are where you live, but it is possible.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 8:49 AM
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The Complete Walker IV is really, really long.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 12:57 PM
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It's making me think of going back to Lord Jim.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 1:02 PM
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I think I own two never-finished-reading Colin Fletcher books but not that one.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 1:06 PM
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If I ever start a blog, it will be called "Moby Hick read extremely wordy books." One nice thing about Tolkien is how he put much of the really wordy stuff into verse so it is easier to skip past.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 1:11 PM
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There was a guy in my high school who was surprised when I said it took a while to read Lord Jim and when I told him how much of it is detailed description he said: "Oh, I just skip that stuff." I don't think he'd read any Conrad, but he was in the honors/AP English. Later became an econ major, as far as I know still works in banking/finance.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 1:43 PM
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My wife's cousin has been pretty busy with the White Mountains. His goal is to climb every 4000 foot peak in New Hampshire. At night. In winter.

The "in winter" thing is pretty common, as such things go. Adding "at night" is new to me.

There's an even more ... unusual ... thing called "gridding," which is to climb all 48 in every month of the year. 576 climbs, some pretty dangerous (Mt. Washington in February? Eek.)


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 1:54 PM
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My son takes almost inhuman glee from watching "Baby's Day Out." Maybe I should start him on Three Stooges. Except that doesn't have Cynthia Nixon in it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 4:03 PM
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And Laura Flynn Boyle looks like twelve.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 4:11 PM
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Anyway, since, after witnessing a particularly vicious shot to the groin, he remarked that the guy would never have kids, I think the sex talk went well on a technical level.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 4:27 PM
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185: isn't that a plot point? That the trouble with the baby solidified the heels notions that he'd never have kids?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 4:56 PM
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It was, but that was way later.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 5:00 PM
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I didn't know I was talking to a scholar, or I'd have been more detailed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 5:05 PM
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Well, I mean, if the kid has watched it many times...


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 5:38 PM
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True. Netflix could teach him a bunch.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 5:39 PM
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I know that mine have learned far too much about the world of butt-related humor from Johnny Test, and the properties of various pokemons from Netflix.

They don't seem to like mythbusters anymore, though, which is a shame. Or did they take mythbusters down? I don't remember.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 5:41 PM
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The "in winter" thing is pretty common, as such things go. Adding "at night" is new to me.

Yeah, well, his plan is to be the first to do it that way.

One time he was running down a mountain on his snowshoes in the dark and he plowed right into the side of a very surprised moose.

The gridding sounds like madness to me.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 5:50 PM
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It's best the moose was surprised. Otherwise, you'd never know if the moose just happened to catch a noise or if he'd was waiting for you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 6:09 PM
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"Get out. The moose is calling from inside the hut."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 6:39 PM
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super eclipse overcome by clouds, mostly


Posted by: turgid jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 7:21 PM
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Hiking down mountains at night in winter sounds like something the helicopter rescue crew encourages so they get more practice.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 7:22 PM
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Summertime, he spends canoeing in places like this.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 7:35 PM
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That part of Canada has more water than I would have guessed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 7:49 PM
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I did this hike in hiking boots. That was brutal, and made worse by not wearing just plain running shoes.

But the boots were nice on the way back down, since we took a different trail that involved some downhill rock scrambling.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 7:52 PM
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That's either a really long stair case or a really short trail.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 8:02 PM
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It's an old cog-train rail line. The tracks washed out, and people reinforced/replaced the old rail ties to make it, well, a really long stair case. It's the steepness that's killer: it rises 2,000 feet in ~1 mile.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 8:06 PM
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Its painful just reading about that.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 8:09 PM
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That's about as steep as the roof on a house.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 8:16 PM
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That's about as steep as the roof on a house.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 8:16 PM
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Stupid roof.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 8:16 PM
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DEFUND THE MOON TOTAL ECLIPSE UNTIL PLANNED PARENTHOOD IS OUT OF OPERATION


Posted by: FUTURE REPUBLICAN HOUSE SPEAKER | Link to this comment | 09-27-15 8:36 PM
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My Dad used to go hiking at lot in the Highlands, and pretty much always just wore running shoes. With warm socks, and gaiters if it was cold/wet. Apparently it used to drive his hiking friends mental, when they turn up in their £200 boots, fluorescent 'technical' clothing, and he'd be wearing old jogging trousers, trainers, a woolly jumper, and a light daypack.*

He swore by it. Much lighter, carrying much less gear, and just as practical in all weather short of winter.

Scotland isn't remotely like the US, the terrain is pretty easy. The weather is super-changeable, though, which is why people get killed in the Cairngorms pretty often.

* he's not daft, there'd be a waterproof, a fleece, and a couple of extra thin layers in his bag.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 2:32 AM
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The only problem with running shoes is that they can slip on wet rock, but apart from that your dad sounds like he has the right idea. And you can get vibram-soled trainers (fell-running shoes or approach shoes) which solve that problem too. There's absolutely no reason to wear big heavy rigid boots unless you're actually planning to put crampons on or something, and light boots or trainers actually dry faster, which is definitely a good thing.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 2:57 AM
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Scotland needs grizzly bears.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 2:59 AM
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I could quit any time I wanted to.


Posted by: Opinionated Scotland | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 4:06 AM
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Wool is good for hiking. Instead of a jumper and a daypack, I'm thinking of wearing an old suit and carrying a briefcase. Couldn't wear the shoes that go with the suit because dress shoes have no traction.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 5:28 AM
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You lose a lot of heat through your head. I suggest a felt hat.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 5:31 AM
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Of course. And a scarf because the front of a suit jacket is too open.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 5:32 AM
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I'm really have trouble with hats. I need to buy a summer hat to keep the sun off, but I can't find one that doesn't look too stupid.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 5:34 AM
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-e, + ing


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 5:35 AM
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213: or just a very wide woollen tie.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 5:54 AM
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I like to save those for weddings and gala dinners.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 6:00 AM
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My hiking boots are named after the famous mountaineer, Chuck Taylor.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 6:39 AM
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218: as in "He killed my mama, he killed my papa, I vote for him"?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 6:44 AM
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No, no. The guy from Planet of the Apes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 6:45 AM
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A google of 219 leads to a fascinating wikipedia article:

According to a 2 June 1999 article in The Virginian-Pilot,[20] Taylor had extensive business dealings with American televangelist Pat Robertson during the civil war and gave Robertson the rights to mine for diamonds in Liberia's mineral-rich countryside. According to two Operation Blessing pilots who reported this incident to the Commonwealth of Virginia for investigation in 1994, Robertson used his Operation Blessing planes to haul diamond-mining equipment to his new mines in Liberia, despite the fact that Robertson was telling his 700 Club viewers that the planes were sending relief supplies to the victims of the genocide in Rwanda. The subsequent investigation by the Commonwealth of Virginia concluded that Robertson diverted his ministry's donations to the Liberian diamond-mining operation, but Attorney General of Virginia Mark Earley blocked any potential prosecution against Robertson, as the relief supplies were also sent

Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 6:56 AM
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There's a great passage in one of CS Lewis' books about the delight of finding someone absolutely and undoubtedly worthy of hate; like the emotion felt by a small boy who has recently been given a paintbox for his birthday and sees a huge blank sheet of paper.
Thus, Pat Robertson.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 7:11 AM
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I'd known Pat Robertson was terrible, but blood diamonds! Mined with resources intended for genocide victims! That's some Dr. Evil level shit, right there.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 7:16 AM
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223: John Oliver did a bit on televangelists on his show that was really upsetting. One of the bits he showed had a televangelist telling his flock that the way to get out of credit card debt is to go further into debt in order to give money to the church, and god will sort out the rest.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 7:21 AM
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Technically, if they spent the money on diamond mining, it counts as genocide relief in the sense that they didn't use the money to directly support people committing genocide.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 7:22 AM
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it counts as genocide relief in the sense that they didn't use the money to directly support people committing genocide.

I'm not even sure that's true, in that presumably some of the kickbacks went to fund Charles Taylor's operation. Which I guess wasn't technically genocide, but close enough.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 7:26 AM
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It counts as genocide relief in the sense that they didn't use the money to directly support the most efficient genocide being conducted at that moment in history.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 7:28 AM
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Well, I guess that's some redeeming value.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 7:34 AM
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227: I don't think you can get into heaven just by pointing to your marginally negative Value Over Replacement Genocidal Maniac score.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 7:38 AM
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229: Whatever you say, Saint Peter.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 7:42 AM
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||

I watched the 60 Minutes Trump interview. It's all what you'd expect, except I wanted to highlight one quote. "Some of the media is among the worst people I've ever met, and I mean a pretty good percentage is a really terrible group of people." Well, he's got Stormcrow's vote now.

|>


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 8:03 AM
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He should have added, "And I've mostly worked in real estate development."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 8:08 AM
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I saw the thing in 224 and it was pretty stunningly horrible, even for my cynical flea-bitten heart. IIRC old school horrible televangilists would have some nonsense about healing, some crazy reactionary sermons, and then pitch intensely for money. But the new school televangilists* have modified the pitch to, quite literally, if you want to be rich, give us money and then Jesus will give you money, because Jesus shows his favor by giving money to those he thinks deserves it, and we can help you get some of that sweet supernatural cash. It's actually kind of hard to think of a message more directly contradicted by the gospels -- I think there's a better biblical New Testament case for being a polytheist or satan-worshipper. I knew vaguely about the evils of "prosperity gospel" but I didn't know that it was being directly pitched as an investment scam.

*Including Creflo A. Dollar, leader of all-name team first division.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 8:29 AM
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Anyhow, John Oliver is great, probably the best investigative reporter in America right now, at least on TV. It's like a 60 minutes that's extremely liberal and intentionally, rather than unintentionally, hillarious.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 8:33 AM
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"Creflo Dollar"? Oh, come on. Martin Amis would reject that name for being too crashingly unsubtle.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 8:34 AM
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The only thing more spot-on was when Seymour Butts got arresting for peeping into the outhouse.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 8:38 AM
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Your villains have very unsubtle names, America. I mean, "Hans von Spakovsky". "Newt Gingrich". "Bernie Madoff". Only the other day we were talking about "Judge Joseph T. Sneed III". Over here we manage to give them a much more chilling sense of menace by calling them bland and innocuous things like "George Osborne". I mean, look at history. Who sounds more ominous and sinister: the "Special Duties Command" or the "Big Group of Really Evil People Who Go Round Murdering All The Time"?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 8:45 AM
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"Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare".


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 8:57 AM
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They used to be more subtle, like House Un-American Activities Committee.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 8:58 AM
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I dunno if he was a villain or not, but England recently had a Justice named Justice Judge.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 8:59 AM
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233: It's freaky. I don't know what it says about human nature that you directly reverse the teaching of Christianity, and get away with calling it Christianity.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 9:01 AM
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OT: I just got on a web call for work and one guy accidentally turned on his camera and sent his shirtless image to the meeting.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 9:03 AM
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Scotland needs grizzly bears.

Right? I did another run up to Yellowstone the 15th-19th this month. Good bear watching. They were coming into Hayden Valley to dig roots, right near the road. Cold nights had killed off the terrestrial bug action but the trout were still taking nymphs, or at least they were on the Firehole.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 9:06 AM
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Whereas there was a very good Texas judge named Judge Justice.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 9:09 AM
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Even when I take a call at home, I always wear a shirt. Just in case.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 9:10 AM
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244: We should settle for nothing less than Judge Dredd.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 9:41 AM
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Judge Angst would be good.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 9:42 AM
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Maybe for family court.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 9:47 AM
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I dunno if he was a villain or not, but England recently had a Justice named Justice Judge.

And a Justice Laws. I'm pretty sure we've mentioned this here before.

Your villains have very unsubtle names, America. I mean, "Hans von Spakovsky". "Newt Gingrich". "Bernie Madoff". Only the other day we were talking about "Judge Joseph T. Sneed III". Over here we manage to give them a much more chilling sense of menace by calling them bland and innocuous things like "George Osborne".

On the other hand, our Tories are such comically posh twats that if you made one up as a caricature nobody would believe you.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 10:00 AM
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Over here we manage to give them a much more chilling sense of menace by calling them bland and innocuous things like "George Osborne". I mean, look at history. Who sounds more ominous and sinister: the "Special Duties Command" or the "Big Group of Really Evil People Who Go Round Murdering All The Time"?

Yes, your system is indeed ingenous. All the politicians who sound like Bond villains ("Ivon Moore-Brabazon", "Rupert Ponsonby", "Alexander Scrymgeour", "Tristan Garel-Jones", "Giles Goschen", "Valerian Freyberg") are shunted into the House of Lords, so Dave's Cabinet can have people named Greg, Chris, Liz, Nicky and Jeremy.



Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 10:07 AM
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250 is an impressive list. Do you have a "Bond Villain Or British Peer?" quiz running or something?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 10:13 AM
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Although, speaking of Bond villains and looking at the list of Conservative MPs, there is literally one named "Drax". There are also Conservative MPs named "Blunt", "Bone", "Cash", "Pincher", "Truss", "Crabb", and "Brokenshire".

They just keep neutralizing themselves by giving themselves nicknames. "William Quince", "Nicholas Clegg", "Benedict Gummer": Dickens characters. "Will", "Nick", "Ben": everymen.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 10:15 AM
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I now associate the name "Tony" with Italian-American guys from working-class backgrounds and English aristocrats.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 10:29 AM
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There's a difference between Tony, Toni, and Toné.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 10:33 AM
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I mean, "Hans von Spakovsky". "Newt Gingrich". "Bernie Madoff".

BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA!


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 11:24 AM
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But it's this MP who seems to me to have the most posh twit name of all.

Even on the Labour side most of the names sound like people far more yuppie-ish (or South Asian) than our congresspeople here in America. The few exceptions include "Vernon Coaker", "Karen Buck", and "Andy Slaughter".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 2:28 PM
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They all look like yuppies too. Is the average age of an MP under 45? Why don't they hang on to their jobs forever? Especially since you can lose your election and then get put up as candidate for some other seat far away.

Again, the exception is Vernon Coaker. Could fit right in with the Texas delegation.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 2:33 PM
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Do they all get to be Right Honourable or is that just the leadership?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 3:10 PM
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Rt Hon is just for Privy Councillors. Normal MPs don't get it.

257: some do: if they're in a safe seat they can just keep on going. But getting another seat once you've already lost one is rare, or, at least, not usual.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 3:17 PM
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257: the average MP is 50; the average congressman 57; the average senator 62.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 3:18 PM
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Even on the Labour side most of the names sound like people far more yuppie-ish (or South Asian) than our congresspeople here in America.

Isn't that just because Anglo names, especially rarer ones, have a different connotation here?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 4:18 PM
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So, proportionally, do MPs have as much power as US Representatives do in terms of apportioning cash/creating sweetheart deals/putting their thumb on the scales in other ways? My totally baseless assumption was that they do not, but perhaps that's outdated, or was always wrong. Are there the equivalents over there of Representatives with 100% safe seats who control important committees and can easily block legislation even if the feeling in their party is to let it go through?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 5:07 PM
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(UK MPs, that is, per the context of this discussion)


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-28-15 5:07 PM
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In a word, no. Mainly because "important committees" is an oxymoron in Westminster politics and individual MPs can't really do anything to block legislation unless the government's majority is very small. There's also no real mechanism to get earmark-type provisions into bills - amendments tend to need widespread support to pass and are (usually) directly related to the meat of the bill. Our MPs generally have to engage in petty corruption rather than pork barrel politics if they want perks of power.

On the Right Honourable thing, the most recent Answer Me This podcast went through the various rules of address for Parliament


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-29-15 12:09 AM
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Also because the whole power structure is different. Imagine the US if the President was just the eldest child of the previous President, and the House Majority Leader had spent the last four or five centuries systematically acquiring power from both the presidency and the Senate, to the point where the former had become a rubber stamp and the latter a largely-powerless talking shop. That's the UK system. By definition the prime minister has to be able to get important bills through the House of Commons, because that's what makes him PM - he can "command the confidence of the House". If he loses a budget vote, or a no confidence vote, he has to resign and call an election. You just couldn't have a situation where one party is using its Commons majority to shut down the government by refusing to pass a budget. It's a constitutional oxymoron.

We do have select committees but a) they're less powerful, b) they don't endure from one general election to the next and c) their chairs are elected by the House as a whole at the start of each new parliament.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-29-15 1:46 AM
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Our MPs generally have to engage in petty corruption rather than pork barrel politics if they want perks of power.

Or they stay in local government...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-29-15 1:58 AM
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What explains the age discrepancy, though? Do older ones get bumped up to the Lords or just thrown away when they're no longer energetic enough to be useful to the party?


Posted by: X. Trapnel | Link to this comment | 09-29-15 2:00 AM
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House of Lords average age is 69, apparently.


Posted by: X. Trapnel | Link to this comment | 09-29-15 2:01 AM
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Yeah, the select committees don't really have any power at all, other than in theory holding people in contempt of Parliament for not giving evidence at hearings (and maybe not even that) . It's more a question of shaming the government into action. Which sometimes works to a certain degree. But it means the committee chairs are far more about prestige than personal power, and they're not even that prestigious.

All of this may apply less in Scotland and NI (and conceivably Wales, but they barely have any devolved powers), but I really don't know the details enough to speculate.

Or they stay in local government...

Very true. Much more of that personal fiefdom style politics goes on in councils.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-29-15 2:10 AM
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What explains the age discrepancy, though?

Less job security? Most US Congressmen don't actually have to fight for their seats. There are 630 seats in Parliament and you can expect at least 100 to change hands at each election. In 2014, 13 seats changed hands in the US House of Representatives. Even in overturn elections like 2010 and 1994 it's only about 50 or 60 that change hands.
And there's less benefit to longevity in Parliament - it doesn't run on seniority and time in office in the way that Congress does (committee chairs, for one thing).


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-29-15 2:11 AM
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Do older ones get bumped up to the Lords or just thrown away when they're no longer energetic enough to be useful to the party?

Basically, yes. Also people outside politics and donors generally get nominated for peerages at fairly late stages of their careers, certainly younger than your average first time MP.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-29-15 2:12 AM
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Oh, you meant discrepancy with the US, not with the Lords.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-29-15 2:12 AM
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252. The MP Richard Drax is actually Richard Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax, one of the few quadruple-barreled names among the British upper class. The habit of people with multiple surnames dropping one or more of them to sound more plebeian started, I think with the Rt. Hon. Anthony Wedgwood-Benn (Tony Benn), a right wing Labour minister under Harold Wilson who shifted to the far left at some point in the 1970s.

It'll be interesting to see whether, now that more ordinary people are hyphenating their names on marriage rather than have the woman take the man's, British aristos become less embarrassed about being called Augustus Lane Fox Pitt-Rivers.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-29-15 3:01 AM
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The habit of people with multiple surnames dropping one or more of them to sound more plebeian started, I think with the Rt. Hon. Anthony Wedgwood-Benn (Tony Benn), a right wing Labour minister under Harold Wilson who shifted to the far left at some point in the 1970s.

Benn was also, famously,got the law changed so he could renounced his peerage and sit in the Commons


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-29-15 3:09 AM
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The habit of people with multiple surnames dropping one or more of them to sound more plebeian

House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha --> House of Windsor...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-29-15 3:22 AM
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Your strange systems of governance are opaque to me, my British friends, but seem so much wiser than our own. Please re-invade and fix our stupid Constitution. I'll leave some chips and a hogshead (fnar*) of ale out for you in the hallway.

*Barring invasion please consider that as evidence in my favor for the "Life in the UK" portion of my application for citizenship.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-29-15 3:49 AM
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The select committees have got more powerful over time, but there's still only one that's really unequivocally worth having, the Public Accounts Committee, which lets you bully civil servants and issue damning reports on the incompetence of your political enemies.

Hugo Swire is Swire as in the Hong Kong merchant house that became the current Swire Group, so he's that posh his ancestors were basically massive opium dealers. Also, IIRC, he was one of three MPs who voted for the invasion of Iraq and then got mobilised (or possibly even volunteered) to invade Iraq *personally*.

The best thing about Lord Justice Judge is his Christian name: Igor.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09-29-15 4:04 AM
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||

Ta-Nehisi Coates wins MacArthur Genius grant. And the NY Times misspelled his name. (See correction.)

||>


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-29-15 4:10 AM
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275. That wasn't to sound more plebeian; it was to sound less German.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-29-15 4:21 AM
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True.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-29-15 5:03 AM
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Imagine the US if the President was just the eldest child of the previous President

I can only do that if I imagine an intervening president by somebody who is the spouse of a later president.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-29-15 5:35 AM
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Hugo Swire is Swire as in the Hong Kong merchant house that became the current Swire Group, so he's that posh his ancestors were basically massive opium dealers.

Wow, my instincts were correct!

What about Vernon Coaker? I'm considering voting for him in the Democratic primary. He should bring in both Anglophiles and old white guys with buzzcuts, a demographic we can NOT give up on.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-29-15 5:39 AM
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Coaker is a schoolteacher, and a member of the most radical teachers' union: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vernon_Coaker


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09-29-15 3:29 PM
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