Chris Jefferies

Occasional ongoing jive…

Monthly Archives: December 2003

End of 2nd day on the road

Saturday, December 20th, 2003

Had a good ride on I-10 today.  Started in Blythe and drove the 25 miles to Quartite.  Fleamarketed and rouck hounded for a couple of hours and then back on the road.

Aurora drove and I worked on my computer (created a neat FAQ section for my offices Support site).  In Tuscson we stopped in at the Congress hotel dinning room and had a great dinner.  I had a wonderful venison steak.  Finally, all energized, we made the final push into El Paso.  Along the way we stopped in Demming and inquired about fireworks.  We found out that the ‘warehouse’ was closed for the evening, but they said the best place to buy them was at a place called Akila (Exit 102).  We’ll try to remember that for next year and try to get our timing right to purchase some excellent fireworks for our NY eve party.

We’ll push on to Houston after our breakfast at El Nido.


End of First Day on the Road

Friday, December 19th, 2003

Now in a Holiday Inn in Blythe, CA. We left the house about 1pm and went to have breakfast at the Inn Kensington.   Ran into Lisa VanCleef who is doing garden design work for a woman who lives on our street.  I met Lisa back around 1983/84 when I worked at Dolby Labs.  What a surprise.

The highway was very crowded and it was tough driving.  Aurora did the big stretch from just past Tracy on I-5 to Ontario on I-10.  We had dinner at this great restaurant named Rosa’s just South of I-10 off of the Vineyard exit.

Once we got back on the freeway we encountered hundreds of SUVs with large packages on top; most of them travelling under the speed limit in the left lane.  Aaaaagh…

Got a room, smells like glue, connected to a local dial-up, got my email, and updated my blog.  Now I’ll watch a few minutes of CNN and drift off to sleep with the freeway buzz about a hundred yards away.

Tomorrow we plan to take in the Quarzite flea market, dinner at the Congress hotel in Tuscson and then El Paso for another rest.  On the way we’ll see the cotton fields west of Pheonix, the Gila river, big yellow signs advertizing “The Thing”, the 3 crosses over Las Cruces and Texas Canyon with it’s huge mounds of abstract boulders.

More fun.

Let It Roll

Ooo she’s like a smooth stretch of highway
Ooo she’s like a cool Summer breeze
If my motor’s runnin’ right, we might lose control tonight
Got the shape I love to squeeze, looks that bring me to my knees
Oh please, let it roll tonight
    (from Let It Roll – Little Feat)

We’ll be on the road in the morning and as Derek put it we’re looking for
la gama libre grande” or “the great free range”.

All roads now lead to Big Bend…

The blogs are back…

My fellow bloggers,

I had a serious outage on my DSL line, but the telephone company came and replaced a wire from the telephone pole, and all seems better now.  It’s still a bit slow, so I’ll be working with my ISP to resolve that.

I’m quite worried about my servers’ reliability while away on vacation.  Here’s hoping the little servers hold up.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Glenn’s article on

Original article:
Published on Friday, December 5, 2003 by
The Symbolism’s Perfect, But Not The Bird
by Glenn W. Smith

The widely circulated photograph of President Bush and the Thanksgiving turkey was faked. What Bush served — or pretended to serve — our troops in Iraq was a table centerpiece, not an edible turkey, the Washington Post reports.

This is almost too good for analysis. It’s like John Barth’s observation that some symbolic images are simply too loaded to use, for instance, a bird perched on a ‘No Parking’ Sign.

But Bush has served us so many phony turkeys it’s impossible to resist the temptation to make this latest falsity a fairly clear symbol of everything Bush stands for. Weapons of Mass Destruction? Medicare reform? No Child Left Behind Education reform? Steel Tariffs? Compassionate Conservatism? Rugged Texas cowpoke president? Tax cuts for the middle class? Mission Accomplished?

All of it’s so much inedible garbage. The image is real enough, but the substance is quite another kettle of turkey.

The amazing thing is how many people admire Bush and his handlers for their art. It’s as though deception, employed skillfully enough, deserves applause. That¹s what leadership is all about.

But we¹re not dealing with a magician we know hasn’t really made the elephant disappear from the stage or the turkey materialize before the eyes of our distant troops. We¹re dealing with a world leader who now has demanded and received the power to invade any country he wants upon his own whim.

As is often noted, the ability to deceive is greatly enhanced by the modern tools of politics. It¹s a fact of life that a President can instantly plant any image he wants into our living rooms and our memories. But what’s more disturbing is our shrugging acceptance of these deceptions, especially when they are constructed so as to fit the narratives of our desires. We want a strong, compassionate, down-home kind of guy for president. Images that support the fantasy — and in this case it is no more than fantasy — have more power.

Al Gore was vilified for saying he’d invented the Internet. Of course, he hadn’t said that. In this case, the lie was perpetrated by journalists who knew there was something about Gore they didn’t like, and this would serve to point up his undefined shortcomings as well as any other example they could think of.

Luckily, our troops in Iraq were given real Thanksgiving dinners. They weren’t forced to dine on the Bush deception that day. But aren’t they dining everyday they spend overseas on more serious deceptions? Aren¹t they there because Bush had already served our country and the world perfectly carved lies?

Ah, the presentation is superb. But we’re stuck with that and only that. There¹s no real world of sustenance we can retreat to, like the troops’ cafeteria line. The deficit grows, the rich grow richer, prescription drugs remain unaffordable, and our nation’s schoolchildren sit abandoned by an un-funded and ill-considered public education reform effort that¹s designed to force public schools to fail.

It’s up to us to reject the indigestible illusions and demand truth, which like food, water and oxygen is necessary for life to flourish. Then again, Bush has all but ended federal inspection of our foodstuffs and reversed or eliminated regulations aimed at protecting the quality of our air and water.

He¹s 0-for-4 on the life thing, but as long as the turkey looks good, we forget that we are hungry.

Glenn W. Smith is a consultant and writer in Austin, Texas. His new book, “The Politics of Deceit: Saving Freedom and Democracy from Extinction” will be published by John Wiley & Sons in July, 2004. Contact him at