Spent more time organizing music than I expected. I had some spoken-word poetry that needed vetting, for inclusion in a playlist.
I drove up and parked in the back of UCSC and put the Nano on, and began walking up the trail into the woods.
As I was turning over a log to look for neat bugs, my phone battery beeped. I tried to make a call to La, but it registered zero signal, then died completely.
I kept passing people with bikes, then people on foot, then wandered off into the narrow side trails and was alone.
I sat down to take a picture of a huge redwood tree, but the camera battery was dead. So I had a snack instead.
I stopped at the edge of a ravine and peed on the side of a tree, leaving a big wet stain. "It would be just typical if someone came strolling by right now," I thought, and listened for voices. Thankfully no one disturbed me.
I began to get worried about mountain lions. So I picked up a big stick and broke off most of it, then used it to drag and walk alongside myself, making lots of noise in the leaves. It would be almost useless in a confrontation, but perhaps the noise would help me avoid one.
On the way up a long bike trail a couple men passed me. One was debating with the other about whether to buy an iMac or a Mac Pro. I almost began blurting out advice, but stopped myself.
I sat down on the bank of the deeply rutted bike trail and typed on the laptop. Two middle-school age kids passed by on bikes, eyeing me curiously. "Do you get like some mad reception out here or something?" "I wish," I replied. "No internet."
I circled around on the smaller trails, joining and rejoining the main biking road. I passed by a large group of people on bikes; some kind of biking club. One of the men had defective brakes which emitted a piercing wail every time he slowed for a curve.
Back on the main road, I passed a redwood tree that had been sectioned up with a chainsaw. It had been laying horizontal for weeks, and the daily sun had forced hot sap out of the circular wound. The sap dangled in hundreds of frozen beads from the edge of the log, perfectly still. Curiosity gripped me and I had to catch one of the beads on the end of my finger and taste it with my tongue. It tasted like margarine. A microscopic dot of it remained on my lower lip for several hours afterwards, making my mouth stick.
I passed several trail forks, and began tromping down the side of a ravine. Then I stopped. This place looked familiar. I turned around and walked back to the crest of the trail, then turned around again ... yeah, there was my big pee stain on the tree. Well thank goodness for landmarks. I walked back the way I came and took another fork.
On the way back down the road I passed the triad of jutting poles that marked the "fueling station". In the center of the triangle was a fourth pole, much thicker, with a coupling on the end, screwed tightly shut. Perhaps fuel was dispensed from it; I didn't know. The other three poles were hollow, and passing students had crammed them full of trash.
There were still pieces of litter here that had fallen off the filthy tent I had hauled out of the woods last weekend. The campus police must have taken the rest away. Good. I don't care how cramped the homeless shelter is down in the town - I refuse to let tramps or students create festering piles of trash in this nature preserve. The site I had gathered the tent from had been a crater of beer bottles, soiled clothing, and used tissues, including one very bloodied tampon buzzing with flies. From where it lay it had obviously been thrown out the front flap of the tent and then forgotten.
As I'd hauled the tent along behind me like a very very bad child's Christmas sack, I was amazed at how very many beer bottles there were, and yet I didn't see a single aluminum can. Why? Something to do with the alcohol percentage by volume perhaps? Or just a matter of taste? As if someone living here, in this tent, could worry about taste. I was also surprised to see a ruined digital clock among the debris. As if someone who drank this much beer could worry about keeping appointments.
I sat by the van and caught my breath, then drove home.
Out of curiosity I'd downloaded The Black Cauldron a while ago. I sat on the bed and watched it, comparing it with the warped memories I'd preserved from seeing it 21 years ago. Very interesting. But also clearly not suitable for children. In fact, hard to enjoy in general, and certainly a product of the times, what with the Ghostbusters theremin in the soundtrack and erupting spirits like Raiders of the Lost Ark. I can see why it put Disney in a bad spot. I could also see the personal marks of the animators that Don Bluth must have hired away when he abandoned Disney. It's no coincidence that the hands of the Horned King look just like the hands of Nicodemus from The Secret of Nimh.
Anyway, I stole a bunch of samples from it.
Then I sorted more music, did some reading, had a snack, farted around with external RAID arrays, and went for a walk.
Now here I am! I reckon it's bedtime soon.