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June 21 1998, Sunday



'd planned to leave on my road trip today, but I'm not done with all the things that need doing and my sore right toe is looking like it's going to take some days to heal. I'm certainly not going to travel with a potentially problematic medical condition. I'm still walking on my right foot funny and this is causing aches in the tarsals, metatarsals and incidental tissues in the vicinity of the troubled toe. When I noticed an identical infection creeping into the analogous place on my left foot, I decided to take severe measures. So I busted out my mother's KopperTox™ horse thrush remedy. It's powerful mojo, some concoction of petroleum distillates and highly toxic organo-cupric compounds. The stuff stains everything it touches with a sickly oily green, and it smells like a rodeo gasoline spill. I somehow made the mistake of getting a little up my nose, and I got an unavoidable whiff of it with every inhale until I undertook drastic corrective measures with a tightly-twisted wet paper towel.

I can't understand why my feet are experiencing such severe problems; I'm doing all the right things. I've only worn shoes for an hour during the whole past week. Perhaps it's my recent change in foot hygiene (no more hot showers), or maybe it's the sudden disappearance of toxic alcohol waves in my blood. But it might just be the strange rainy weather of this particular Spring.


he weather today was unusual in that it was hot but not particularly humid. Temperatures were well into the 90s, but the sky was clear and blue and the stink of summer was conspicuously absent from the air.

I went across the road to my little sacred place in the lower piney woods and I could tell the plants were suffering from the heat. They all had a vaguely wilted appearance, especially leaves far above the ground. The weary trees, especially the pines, seemed to be allowing more sun than usual down to the forest floor. Of course, the time was about noon and the date was the Summer Solstice, so the Sun was as high as it ever gets at this latitude. Shadows were at a conspicuously small extreme.

Today I noticed something about most of the 30 foot tall pines growing in the denser parts of the woods. They really don't have many green needles and live limbs; apparently no more than a much smaller tree - one about my height - growing out in the open. Most of the trees' mass, their trunks, is only there to lift their green parts in a never-ending race towards the ever-rising canopy. If they could all just agree to stay short, they wouldn't have to get so tall!


  managed to wire my bunk's computer, the AMD K-6, to the Internet today. The most difficult part of this was getting my mother, Hoagie, to climb up there to type in her ISP password so the dialer would work. She's terrified of heights and not especially agile, but she's also excessively protective of things like credit cards and passwords and I know better than to ask her to simply tell me the damn thing.

Hoagie remarked that the bunk was "cozy."

The scene of me coaxing her down from the bunk would have probably reminded an observer of low-grade British comedy.

No, I didn't do anything for Fathers' Day, except wish Hoagie a belated Happy Mothers' Day. That's how I handle these infernal capitalist holidays.


n the evening, Hoagie made extremely thick-crust whole wheat vegetarian pizza. It's not the sort of thing you could sell in an American restaurant, but everybody in my family sure likes it. I ate in my usual fashion, that is, until discomfort arrested me.


one year ago
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