Sunday, June 14, 2009


I have been thinking for years about loyalty and just what it means.

Loyalty is often defined as devotion to a person or cause, faithfulness to either.

What does that tell us? Well loyalty to a person is mere a characteristic of friendship isn't it? So does "loyalty" in that context tell us anything other than you are a friend to that person? If you are not "loyal" it seems to me that you are not a friend at all, so nothing is added by phrases such as "loyal friend."

In the case of a cause, or perhaps even a bad friend, it seems to be a negative, not hte positive attribute we seem to assume that it is. Consider that if I am loyal to a cause, then I am to support it in the face of all others. On the surface this mindless devotion is what we celebrate in western cultures, but is this really something of value? What if my loyalty for instance is to the inappropriately named "pro-life" cause? To borrow from recent headlines, this would mean that I must call the intentional murder of a sincerely good man who happened to be one of only two doctors left who save the life of women who are pregnant but cannot carry to term safely, this I would have to call a good and noble act.

What does it mean for a claim to be false? It means that the claim fails to match reality. In this case there is nothing good much less noble about this act of murder, nor would any good person hold that there were. So when we see that "loyalty" to the cause means that we must accept a contrary to reality claim as being "true" we know that in fact it is the belief or command which is wrong, not reality.

This is far from the only example, but rather simply an extraordinarily clear one. Wherever "loyalty" puts us at odds with reality, especially as would be the case here, puts us at odds with that which is actually good and commendable, "Loyalty" not only cannot be laudable, rather it must be evil.

I may be "loyal" to a friend who commits an evil act, but in protecting and in practice supporting that evil act, I myself am not being good. So being loyal to a good friend simply means being a good friend, and being loyal to a friend who is acting evilly is to act evilly ourselves.

It appears that loyalty is only "good" where that to which it is already a part is itself something good. Since in those situations "loyalty" adds nothing to the description, I suggest that we simply drop "loyalty" as any sort of positive attribute and instead simply recognize the worthlessness, in fact the misleading nature of the word.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Well I made it back to Kansas once again.

Spent the first evening here with a dear friend just catching up.

Coincidence brings another couple of friends down here today, so at least the beginning of this trip is starting out quite promising.

Monday, June 08, 2009

A new objective..

Is it wrong (whatever that means) to want to master the thousand yard stare?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Ever on the Road

.. or so it seems.

I am leaving again in a few days to travel back to Kansas, this time to work primarily upon the exterior of my mother's home, though there are other projects ranging from preserving a fence for my grandparents, to applying epoxy to the floor of a basement and the front porch of a home. With any luck at all, I will also manage to get some paying work in addition to the work for family, which any contractor/designer can tell you pays only in the rewards you find in the doing of the work itself.

Making this more difficult is that I am still trying to live out of 120 sq ft at best, with my tools and other "stuff" scattered from Atlanta, Georgia to Austin, Texas, to Wichita, Kansas to the back hills of the Oauchita Mountains.. I already know that I won't have all that I need, so this work will be less efficient than when I has the business in Texas, but it will get done with the same high regard to quality as always.

There is so much more positive to talk about, from the morning harvest of a few precious raspberries and a dewberry or two, to the views seen from 3500ft one afternoon spent navel gazing, but as you can tell tonight my mind is on this latest transition. While traveling is in my blood, I have been without a base, without a place of my own of any real sort for just shy of a year now, and so I grow weary of these transitions, holding patterns, and delays which are beyond my control.

To be honest, were my savings just a bit greater, I would simply keep on driving after this project and find some even more remote land farther out west, and farther away from the presumptions (of others) of obligations (on me).

Ah well, this too will pass.. I will find joy in the design and creation process, and perhaps my return will in this instance actually signal the real start to the build process..

I did spy one or two raspberries which ought to be ripe by morning.. and perhaps I will be able to find a couple of early dewberries..

Friday, June 05, 2009

Peas and Pods

Brief post tonight.. just a quick shot of my meal this evening:

This is English peas with daylily pods. After taking the pic, I added a chopped garlic flower then removed it from the heat and chowed down on this gourmet foraged meal. It was so flavorful that there was no need for salt or other seasoning. Simply a little butter.. Imagine asparagus with a lighter texture, crossed with a mild squash, with just an occassional hint of spice and you have the flavor of these particular daylilies.

This is why I live the life I am living! This is "roughing it" at its best..

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Other Addiction..

On the subject of entertainment, I adhere to Jefferson's quote: "I cannot live without books."

One of the very real joys of the path I am on currently, is that I am now finding that I have the time to start in reading the ever growing stack of books I have bought at one time or another. Some date back almost 15 years, to a mysterious but lovely little bookseller in St. Louis, where you had to knock on the door and if you looked acceptable to the owner, he would let you in to shop..

Still, much like a drug addiction, the books you have just aren't enough.

Today's order from betterworldbooks:

Survival with Style : Bradford Angier (1972)

Hayduke Lives! : Edward Abbey (Hardcover, 1990)

Epitaph for a Desert Anarchist : James Bishop (Hardcover, 1994)

Rational Choice and Moral Agency : David Schmidtz (Paperback, 1997)

On the Shortness of Life : C.D.N. Costa, Lucius Annaeus Seneca (Paperback, 2005)

I am always looking for good sources for cheap books so if you have any suggestions.. send them along!

If you have not yet discovered it, I recommend Wonderful site which for me at least provides a more than acceptable alternative to browsing in a book shop, which has always seemed to me to be lacking in online book sellers. You just don't get the random factor in online searches or even browsing without having to manually sort though more listings than you would have to see books in a shop. I've not found a better or more comfortable source of book inspiration online.

Plus for those who are more social than I tend to be, you can even meet interesting people who share your love of books, or particular genres. Heck, even I have met a few interesting people who share some of my more quirky or obscure interests.. check it out..

Monday, June 01, 2009

Today was a day for flowers. After many years of wanting to try daylilly pods, I finally harvested a few, prepared them in a dish of rice, squash, tomatoes, garlic, and topped off at the last minute with chopped garlic blossoms. Quite nice.. though I think that I can probably do better.

Most of the day was spent on a chainsaw clearing fence lines and the lower portions of the trees in the middle of the fields.

No snakes or other critters, except for the lone box turtle I helped across the road first thing this morning.