Project 313 – Post No. 024

I’m writing this a few days ahead of publication and as I’m writing, I’m monitoring the ongoing lava eruption in The Big Island’s Puna district. 

On the one hand, I feel terrible for the people who live there and will likely not only lose their homes but also have their property irreparably damaged if not completely obliterated. On the other hand, I have a difficult time maintaining my “feeling bad” level at 100%. I mean, I know I should be completely emphatic, but they built in a high-risk area.

Maybe, it’s the only place they could afford something . . . but some of those houses look pretty nice. I don’t really know what to think. 

And then, on the third hand, I also sort-of feel bad about another thought that crosses my mind . . . anticipating I might get the opportunity, sometime in the near future, of getting shots of slow-moving lava. I saw that once before during one of my visits to the island (a few photos from that visit are included HERE),  

Anyway, this is yet another event that offers a strong rebuttal to people who favor the idea this planet was “made for us” . . . you know who you are so I won’t spell it out. 

Suffice it to say that here, on The Big Island, a supposed paradise on Earth, we have the threat of being burned by 2,000º molten rock, or drowned in a tsunami, or wiped out in a hurricane, or crushed in an earthquake, or perish from poisonous sea urchins, or eaten by sharks, or . . . need I go on?

Other places are no better, trading one or two things for different disasters like tornadoes or massive fires or blizzards or killer heat waves. 

Let me tell you . . . if we were renters here, I’d have a few choice words for the landlord. Actually, more like the slumlord. 

Then again, if we are renters, we’re not really doing a good job of taking care of the place, are we? Nope, we’re not. 

It the hubris, isn’t it? The idea we are something special, that we’re owed a good life, that some all-powerful being has interest in our reproductive cycle and whether we eat pork.  

I tell you, if the universe had a consciousness or if there was a slumlord, it would probably torch this place and start over. I sleep better at night knowing there be no such entity. I mean, all of the ones I’ve heard described — all of them — are nasty, capricious, cruel, vindictive, petty, vengeful, and obviously insecure. 

. . . no wonder some people think of Trump as god-like . . . 

And now, the photo:

Project 313 024

That tree bark was pretty interesting on its own, but I couldn’t resist playing with it just a bit, giving it a slight painterly look. 

That tree was in the yard of one of the homes we had considered buying. Not only was it a nice house but the number of diverse plantings on the one-acre lot had my camera salivate. Alas, a few things were not so good, and we passed. 

That house happened to be in Hilo . . . I think we would be a bit concerned right now. Not that Hilo is under threat, but it has been before. I think in the late 40s a plan was considered to try and bomb the lava flow that threatened the town. As luck would have it, it either stopped short or diverted on its own (I don’t remember). It may seem like a long time ago, but in geological terms, it’s not. (Read HERE and HERE)

Willpower is an interesting thing. It’s interesting because it can fail even when failure goes against our best interest. 

It’s a constant fight, isn’t it? Malasadas or push-ups? Tuxedo cake or kale? Wait, that’s too easy . . . Tuxedo cake or dropping a few inches from your waist? 

What makes it difficult is not so much that we can’t do the cost-benefit analysis; it’s that the analysis is missing a few variables to accurately evaluate the costs and the benefits. I mean, If I knew I only had a few more years to live, it’d be Tuxedo cake and malasadas every day, twice a day, right after the pasta bowl and Spam sandwich. 

Also, screw saving and being careful with money. And, of course, I’d be able to express my opinion about things without the worry I’d offend someone . . . wait, I do that now. Screw it, I’d do it even louder!

Unfortunately, I don’t know . . . so, only half a Tuxedo cake and only a few malasadas and only half a bowl of pasta. But, I’ll still treat myself to a full Spam sandwich.

And now, this. 

Coins On Vacation

And . . . that’s it

Some of these posts will likely be longer as the mood hits me, but most will be thus; short, uninteresting, bland, and relentless.

You can read about Project 313 HERE.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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