Deep Systemic Change?

I’ve seen a few bits online complaining that the Biden/Harris ticket isn’t one of “deep systemic change”, and while these people are right, they are also wrong. “Deep systemic change” isn’t something that can be delivered to you top down, it’s something that has to grow from the bottom up. And yeah, I get that some admins would be more helpful than others in this regard, and B&H aren’t going to be that helpful, but they’re not going to do anything to stop you either.

The place to start “deep systemic change” isn’t just waaay down ballot it’s not even on the ballot; it’s with you. No one’s going to follow you if you’re not a living example of what you want to see in the world. Want to crush the oil companies? Get bike lanes built? Improve public transit? Better pump up the tires on your bike and get a bus pass. No one’s going to give you their time or ear if you’re not already doing what you’re calling for. Your mayor and city planner seeing people actually out and about on bikes is a much more powerful tool to get bike infrastructure built than sending a couple emails a year..

The local level is the place where you can have the biggest effect. It’s not just getting people elected, it’s getting people on local advisory boards, it’s getting a friend or two on the board at your local library or on the board at the local YMCA and other local nonprofits and advocacy groups. These positions help build the culture of your community and help shape what your city council does and they serve as stepping stone to elected office.

Then look to the state level. And again, don’t just look at elected positions, there are all sorts of advisory boards at the state level helping to make policy. Once your people have served on boards they’re a great fit for running for a state level seat.

A federal government that chugs competently along and doesn’t raise a ruckus or get in your way is in a lot of ways the best thing you can ask for. This sort of government, which is what B&H bring to the table, will let you and yours make changes in your lives and at the local and state level and as those changes prove to be workable and start to trickle upwards admins like B&H will allow themselves to be co-opted and adopt your changes with little fanfare or fuss.


Old Abe Trail

The Old Abe State Trail is a rail trail that runs 36 miles north-east from Eau Claire to Burnett Island State Park. Other than a 2.5 mile section in Chippewa Falls, the trail is all separated from the road. Until now. Last year crews started working on getting the last little bit of trail in and sometime in the last month or two they finished it. Now you can ride, off street, all the way from downtown Eau Claire to Burnett Island. Yay.

In Eau Claire the Old Abe Trail merges with the Chippewa River Trail, another rail trail that runs south-west along the Chippewa river for 26 miles to the town of Durand. The CRT also connects with the Red Cedar Trail which runs 14 mile north from the connection point to the town of Menomonie. Which gives us a grand total of 76 miles of interconnected rail trails to pedal along on, all car and care free.

The photo is looking north headed into Chippewa Falls on the new section of trail.

Ate Cauliflower. Didn’t Die.

Some people are just not cauliflower people and I am one of those people. But, this recipe looked interesting as I’m trying to eat healthier and to switch to a mostly vegetarian diet. I thought roasting cauliflower might negate my objections to the vegetable and give me something meaty to chew on. It worked. It’s still never going to be my favorite thing, but the texture and taste… Um…. I don’t don’t know how to describe it, but it lacks the dry, hard crumbliness of raw cauliflower and it’s sharp taste and the soggy grossness of the steamed stuff. Over all this was a solid and easy to fix meal that can be changed up to fit whatever you feel like eating and what’s in your fridge.

I found this recipe on Budget Bytes, which has all sorts of low fuss, healthy meals and, as the name suggests, are budget friendly.

A Swing And Sort Of a Miss?

I was riding along on my bike yesterday evening and I came across this flower that was being backlit by the setting sun so strongly that it appeared translucent. I stopped to take a picture of it hoping to capture the translucent-ness of the flower, which obviously didn’t happen, but I did get a reasonably good shot nonetheless. If I see this sort of thing in the future I think I try over exposing the shot a little bit.

Welcome To The Driftless Area

Hi, Welcome to the Driftless Area.

The Driftless Area got it name because it escaped being covered in glaciers in the Pleistocene and then covered in the glaciers “drift” as the glaciers retreated. The lack of glaciers and plentiful streams and rivers in the area also meant that The Driftless Area didn’t get squashed flat as a pancake by mile thick glaciers and has had plenty of time for area rivers to cut valleys deep into its bedrock.

The Driftless covers about 24K sq. miles of NE Iowa, SE Minnesota, and SW Wisconsin with most of the area devoted to open space, forest, and farms that, thanks to the local topography, are smaller that most farms in the Midwest. Much of the Driftless looks like the photo I’ve chosen to go with this post. There are a number of small towns, most situated in river bottoms and susceptible to the occasional flood. The biggest city is Eau Claire, WI, where I’m located with about 70K other folks.

That’s it for now, but be sure to tune back in for more exciting news about The Driftless.

About Things And Modernity

According to Historian Modris Eksteins one of the marks of the Modern Age is that when it comes to events and things how one feels about the event or thing and how one interacted with it is just as important as the event/thing itself.

I tend to agree with Eksteins on this. However, this inclusion of oneself and how one feels about bloody everything in every discussion is starting to overwhelm and oppress and it diminishes ones ability to discuss the actual thing. The Lazy Reconnoiter exists, at least in part, to strip away this modern habit and notion and to regain the ability discuss the thing itself.