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Ray :)

Too bad Ray Charles died
before he could see his own...
Never mind. Bad joke.

Tirade's Choice

Dust Art

"Across the entire weekend I managed to give out 44 Fruit Tree cards, and about a half-dozen each of Palm and Pine. Perhaps I played 200 games of Treehouse? One mark of an excellent game is being able to play something like 200 games across 4 days and not end up having a violent aversion to ever playing that game again. In fact, I'd not been planning to attend GenCon but I had SO much fun at Origins that I'm trying to work out my schedule to go to Indy next month!" -- Diane Sudduth's Origins Rabbit Report


Thursday, July 13th, 2006
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Birthday Canoe Trip

This week marked Kristin's Birthday, and we celebrated by inviting a bunch of friends out for a canoe trip! There's a company in our area called River & Trail Outfitters, which facilitates local adventures along the C&O Canal and the rivers that flow nearby. Their services include renting canoes, dropping groups off at one point along the river, and picking them up downstream at the end of the day. They made it very easy for us to organize a trip, so on Sunday afternoon, 10 of Kristin's friends got into little boats with her, and together we all paddled about 7 miles along the Shenandoah River near Harper's Ferry.

We had a fabulous time. The weather was just about perfect (although it did rain a little bit for a couple of minutes) and while it was only a half-day trip on the easiest category of river, the trip was just the right level of challenge for our tastes. It was jolly good fun!

Kristin & Alison were in the first canoe, with the others being crewed by myself & Greg, Gina & John, Melanie & Suzete, Luisa & Andrew (it was Luisa's birthday, too!) and since we ended up with an odd-sized number of [odd] people, the final boat was a Kayak, captained by TV Tom. Here you see our entire group, posing together on a cluster of rocks we "discovered" in the river and paused at for a break.

Gina describes the canoe trip in the GinohnNews this week, so I'm going point you over there for more details and otherwise just let these photos speak for themselves. (Each is worth 1000 words, after all.) I should also point out that most of these photos were taken by Gina (both of my cameras are currently broken) so you can click on them to see bigger versions. (Are higher resolution photos worth the same number of words as their low-rez counter-parts?)

AndyThanks for reading, and have a great week!

Thought Residue
Our goal of getting rabbits to multiply appears to be extending its influence into the natural world surrounding our house. We've been living here for almost 2 decades, and for the first time I'm seeing feral bunnies running around in our front yard!

"Social isolation has many well-documented side effects. Kids fail to thrive. Crime rises. Politics coarsens. Generosity shrivels. Death comes sooner (social isolation is as big a risk factor for premature death as smoking). Well-connected people live longer, happier lives, even if they have to forgo a new Lexus to spend time with friends." -- Robert Putnam, "You Gotta Have Friends: A study finds that Americans are getting lonelier"
"Twenty-two of the 36 volunteers reported having a 'complete' mystical experience, compared to four of those getting methylphenidate. That experience included such things as a sense of pure awareness and a merging with ultimate reality, a transcendence of time and space, a feeling of sacredness or awe, and deeply felt positive mood like joy, peace and love. People say 'they can't possibly put it into words,' Griffiths said. Two months later, 24 of the participants filled out a questionnaire. Two-thirds called their reaction to psilocybin one of the five top most meaningful experiences of their lives. On another measure, one-third called it the most spiritually significant experience of their lives, with another 40% ranking it in the top five." -- Malcolm Ritter, "Mushroom Drug Produces Mystical Experience"

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