Monday, August 31, 2009

Day 86: August 28th 2009, ?? to Lamesa (8 mi)

Before I start on what went down today I have a couple of notes I have been meaning to wrote. First, my skate tickets in Austin. One was dismissed and the second, I had to perform 8 hours of community service sorting recycling at Ecology Action Center of Austin and it was awesome. The work they do there is great and I was proud to do what I did. Second, on the skate between Roscoe to Snyder I stopped at a gas station in a town called Hermleigh and while I was changing a woman came up and gave me $10. She told me that her son travels around alot and she understood, so I had to give my thanks. Finally the mileage in parentheses is the mileage I have skated or walked not including any hitchhiking I did. So here is what went down today...

Lightning. Howling coyotes. A shrieking hog that probably got taken down by the same coyotes. A mooing longhorn. Those are some of the sounds I heard last night. 3 cars passed on the overpass above me last night. Its not as lonely as I would like, but Im getting closer. I can feel it.

7 am, again on the road. Empty, rough roads and I only had a half liter of water left when I woke up. Late night thirst can be as intense as skating midday thirst. No need to skate and waste precious energy and sweat. Ill just take my time and walk with my new genius technique. The first sign I got to said 16 miles to Gail. Hopefully, I thought, the water would last me until then. But I walked and the sun came out and I walked on this desolate road, and I walked some more. The roads didnt get any better. It seemed like they had been newly paved, no smooth tire tracks to ride. 8 oclock, 9 oclock, 10 oclock and still no sign of Gail. Not even from the high hill overlooking the west. It was beautiful, breathtaking. This was the landscape I longed for. I was in awe. But it was deadly. I ran out of water quick although I tried hard to ration.I started stressing, but I kept finding leftover water as trash on the side of the road. The hot sun turned them as hot as piss and they were only a couple of small sips each time, but it was water nonetheless. 1145 and I was in desolate land. No more water. And the next sign that came said 10 miles to Gail. Fuck I thought, I have been walking for more that 3 hours and I only covered 6 miles. This sucks. I tried holding my empty water bottle up and pointing to it when ever the rare occasion that a car passed, as if to say need water, but nobody even bothered to slow down. So I tried a new tactic. I thought, everytime somebody pulled up, I had the bag on my back, so I gave it a shot, hoping it wasn't my last option. And just like that a white Honda Civic passes me going in the same direction, then turns around and asked if I needed a ride. I would not refuse. But before I get into what happened, I would just like to share some thoughts.

When I began this journey I had every intention to make it a pure skate. I realize that this is not that case anymore and it makes me sad. Texas roads have beat me down once again. Maybe this journey is a different kind of adventure. I want to skate, I want to badly. I love the feeling of travelling on my board but I can't on these fucking shit roads. Even Ghana and Egypt have better highways than this shit. I suck at walking. Today while walking in the middle of the desert, I realized that I am indeed crazy. As a matter of fact, somthing in me told it to myself, without me even meaning to say it. "Omar, you are a crazy motherfucker". Mackenzie told me, 'Dont force things"

He was getting married tomorrow and was driving from Albany, Texas to Lamesa where his soon to be wife was awaiting him. Lamesa was where she was from and where the wedding would take place. He was 23 and they met in Angelo State. There first date as he so concisely put it was 'awkward'. Three years later he was getting ready for their wedding. It just happened and he couldn't be more excited. There is a difference between pushing for things to happen and forcing them to. I stay away from the latter. When we got to Lamesa at about 110, Mackenzie told me he was taking me out to lunch and he wouldn't take no for an answer. We got off at Barron Hall, I think it was, where the reception would take place. Inside, his fiancee Lacy, her mother Joy and some others were setting up for the big day. They were such kind, nice people and even though they saw me as dirty, sweaty and as haggard as I was looking, none of them even looked at me with nothing less than a genuine smile. I helped set up a little and when lunchtime came we went to eat some Mexican food. This was the only shot I managed to get of both of them. I thanked Mackenzie for being so kind, and even though he told me that I was more than welcome to stay, I thankeded him again and said that I must be on my way. May they have a happy and blessed marriage. Congratulations to both of them, their families and friends.

Goddamn shitty Texas roads. So damn rough it hurts to walk on them. I have two fucking blisters on my right foot and and old one on the left foot has appeared again after recovering from a nasty fungal infection in Tyler. I left Lamesa in search of a good place to camp. Woo! For once, the shoulder was smooth and the road was rough. So I came up with a rhyme I sang while cruising.
"Rough, rough road oh cant you see, here I am feeling free, there's no way you can stop me, no way just let me be."
And so I kept singing my song for about 2 miles until I found an old abandoned farm house. A bat flew out as soon as I walked in. Then I noticed a giant hive of honeybees, this far south, probably Africanized killer bees. Aggressive motherfuckers. I went around back and set up camp next to the shed. I hope the road stays smooth to Seminole.

P.S. Heres one for you Pepsi. I found an empty Jungle Joose can laying out in Lamesa. I thought only you, Meghan and Sarah Whaley drank that nasty shit, but I guess not.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Day 85: August 27th 2009, Roscoe to ?? (38 mi)

I couldn't sleep last night. Too many thoughts, too many ants kept crawling on me and biting me. Sleeping next to railroad tracks doesn't help either. Fuckin assholes pull their horns so goddamn loud and it only echoed more underneath the bridge. Then I was cold, then it drizzled so I had to get up at 3 in the AM to move my shit. Bad spot on my part. Then I got up at 645 to bats hovering over me. "Guano!"-Ace Ventura

Again I was on the road by 7. No need to say, the road was terrible, unskateable, at least the shoulder. But the road itself was rideable at best. The tires had smoothened out the shit gravel to where I didn't lose all my speed. 30 minutes into riding the tire tracks a Texas State Trooper pulls me over.

"What are you doing skating in the middle of the road?" asked a confused young light skinned black cop
"Im sorry sir, Im going to San Diego. and the shoulder is too rough to ride."
"On your skateboard?!" he asked in shock and disbelief
"Yes, sir"
"Let me see some ID." I hand him my license "Rhode Island?!"
"Yes, sir"
"Hold on a minute" After running my license he gets back out
"We got some calls from people saying you were skating in the middle of the road"
"Thats not true sir. Im just riding the tire tracks all the way to the right. like I said the shoulder is too rough to ride"
"I dont care. For your safety, you can't skate on the road. What you are doing is pretty cool. I can't tell you not to skate, well I can, but I won't. Just do me a favor and stay on the shoulder, for your safety"
"Yes sir, thank you for being understanding"
"Best of luck to you"

So I had to take the rough shoulder. I walked, skating as much as possible 8 miles to Wastella. I was exhausted by then and it was already 10. I stopped in a little 'grocery store' straight from the 50s next to a house owned by a Mexican couple. They kindly refilled my water and gave me a delicious fat slice of homegrown watermelon. After a 15 minute break I kept moving and then, LORD BEHOLD! The road (US-84) turned perfect! I held my arms out as I rolled and screamed in happiness.
And so it was, 28 miles all the way to Snyder. The cruising gave me some more of good Texas skating. And all the farmland it turned into rolling hills. For the first time since Memphis, I was pumping on the highway and the feeling that overcame me was sensational. The scenery before Snyder reminded me of the French countryside and it was gorgeous. It brought me good vibrations all the way there.

I arrived in Snyder at about 1215 and hit up the library, cooked some food and cooled down. The weather up to this point was surprisingly cool. The sun stayed behind a thick cover of clouds, until 130. And a cold front that was making its way from the northwest brought a nice cooling headwind. It couldn't have been better. 28 miles wasn't enough for one day. Lamesa, my planned stop for the next day was 64 miles west. I had to cut into this distance as much as possible today.

I left Snyder at 330. US-180 was another shit Texas road so again I rode the tire tracks, only to be pulled over again. This time by the two county sheriffs in their big white truck.

"You can't skate in the middle of the road like that! People called you in"
"Im sorry sir, the tire tracks are the only part I can ride in"
"Are you skating across the country or something?"
"Yes sir, sort of"
"Whats the reason? Are you on a mission?"
"Just a personal journey"
"The reason I ask is because we a guy walk for veterans who passed through here, but he was only going to Lubbock. You have an ID son?"
"Yes sir" Again after checking he gave me back my ID
"Just stay on the shoulder son. I know its smoother but you never know if someone can't see you or their tire pops and they swerve out of control. Stay safe and good luck"
"Thank you sir, have a good night"

Skating on the shoulder wasn't gonna happen. Walking with my bag on my back and carrying my skateboard and water sucked. And then it hit me! I had bungee cords and I had rope. I would come up with my most genius invention so far. Put my bag on the board and hold it down with the bunjee cords. Then, I would tie the rope to the trucks and voila! I could let my board do the carrying and I would just drag it. It worked like a charm and I walked. And walked some more, but it felt good walking. I wanted to try and cover as much distance as possible by 7. And I did. Then somewhere along the lines I lost one of my 1 L water bottles. It must have slipped of its strap. Fuck. But it was cooling down alot and I felt a nice tailwind. The road was so quiet. For minutes at a time there would not be a single a soul or a single sound, just the wind blowing on the grass. I couldn't find an appropriate place to camp by 7. It was time to get some distance covered. I unstrapped the bag and skated, again riding the tire tracks on the empty road. The wind was behind me and I was rolling downhill. Aaaah finally, I spotted a little bridge about 3 or four miles from the Borden county border, I could sleep underneath. What a day, I dont even know where I found this energy. Tomorrow I start my day with liter of water. I hope it gets me to Gail.

Day 84: August 26th 2009, Spicewood to Llano (42 mi, and then some)

My shitty Wal-Mart wristwatch changes the time on its own. According to it, it was noon when I woke up. The sun however, was not even on the horizon yet. No time for breakfast, stretches then, bust a move. Of course this is Texas and I was greeted by nothing less than the shittiest roads. 30 minutes into my skate a white truck pulls a u-turn ahead and waits.

"Hey man, you need a ride, thought I should help a fellow skater out."
"Fuck man, these roads suck, unskateable. Can you take me to the intersection with 281?" I had heard the road quality improved at that point, 8 miles ahead.
"Hop in man"

So I did, and after some conversating it turned out Al joined us for a couple of Monday night sessions in Austin. I recognized his white truck that followed us around as he taught his young son to bomb some pretty intense hills. Small world. We got to the intersection, I departed and he left me with his card.

"Let me know when you get to San Diego man, Ill come visit"

Things drastically improved when he dropped me off. The road was flawless. Big hills, smooth surfaces, wide shoulders and epic scenery. It gave me goosebumps. There were certain parts where there was no shoulder but the road was empty enough to be skated. I covered 30 miles in no time on the best skate I have had in Texas so far, probably the best since Memphis, and got to Llano at about 1130. Even though it was pretty hot, I learned that maybe headwind wasn't my enemy anymore. It was blowing slight enough where I could maintain speed and strong enough to keep me cool. In that 30 mile run, I consumed only 1 L of water.

I took a break in Llano and decided I should keep moving some more. It was too early to set up camp. Besides, the road still looked good. And so it also looked on Google maps all the way to Brady, 51 miles ahead. A mile outside of Llano, the fucking shit roads reminded me that this is still Texas. Terrible gravel, no way to skate this shit. It was faster and less draining to walk. The sun was out in full force now and it was taking its toll. I made it about 10 miles outside of Llano on empty 71. Every 5 minutes a car passed. Why oh why, did I not just set up camp? But who cared, I was going to be on this road anyway tomorrow. Right then with that thought, a Ford F-150 pulled up ahead, I got happy.

"Want a ride to Brady?"
"On these crap roads, Ill go as far as you'll take me on this road"
"Im headed to Sweetwater right on the Interstate, by Ablilene"
"Oh yeah?" I took my map out and searched. He saw my highlighted path
"You're headed to Big Spring?"
"Nah, Im actually going to San Diego"
"Well you wanna get in?"
"Yeah, sure"
"I don't have any room in the front but if you can handle the wind you got the truckbed"
"I can handle it"

On that ride, I had so many thoughts, bad ones. Especially the thought that I was cheating, again, or deceiving myself. Here I was taking another ride, more than 200 miles and I am supposed to be skating. So I have to apologize to all the people following this blog expecting to read about me skating not hitchhiking. I am sorry to all the people who told me my journey was an inspiration, I have failed you. Texas has beat me. Its roads take all the fun out of skating and it is so frustrating. I wish I had reached a point of discpline where I could just keep pushing through it, but I honestly can't. So many times I tried and it just brings me down, physically and emotionally. I hate these goddamned roads because they fucked up my skate and I am so disappointed in myself for giving in like this, but I'm nobody special. Austin was such a high, I should have seen a new low coming my way. My advice, do not skate through Texas, don't even take a roadbike. If anything, take a mountain bike, because the road is rougher than a mountain trail. I can't wait to get out of this fucking state and onto some skateable roads.

I got dropped off at a gas station on exit 247 on I-20. It was about 3. The kind old man with the ponytail never even told me his name. He offered to buy me a bus ticket to San Diego but I refused. He did insist on giving me $20, this time I couldn't refuse. He said he was taking care of his mother's will who had just passed a week ago in Sweetwater and she would be proud of him for giving me a ride and some funds. And I am sure that she is looking down on you smiling, kind old sir.

I had to accordingly change my route and after about 30 minutes of figuring it out, I would skate 8 miles to the town of Roscoe, 2 miles northwest of the interstate. The interstate was smooth as granite countertops. All the open farmland meant no appropriate spot to camp. I found myself laying out underneath the US-84 bridge next to some railroad tracks. I dont even feel like setting my tent up tonight. Some homeless person must have slept here not too long ago and he left a jacket I could lay on. I'm just going to sleep. From what I can see the road looks shitty for tomorrow. God give me strength.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Day 83: August 25th 2009, Austin to Spicewood, TX (39mi)

Another hot, dry, uphill, chipseal road day in Texas. No doubt, today was a hard day. I got up at 600 but it was still too dark. I got up again at about 645 right after sunrise and made my way out from Barton Springs. Initially I thought I should take 71 from COngress, but decided it would be too crowded so I took Bees Cave Rd, which turned out to be a fantastic decision. Beautiful hills; you could see Austin from and wide smooth shoulders. Awesome start, but things got shitty when I got to 71. The shoulder was tiny, not even wide enough for a bicycle so I had to skate, again, on the rough ass right lane, keeping a lookout behind me. About 5 miles into 71 at about 1045 a white truck pulls ahead.

"Hey man, what are you doing?"
"Skating" then I look into his car and find Palmers surf wax, the only wax worth using "You surf?"
"Yeah man, I paddleboard, originally from California"

I hopped right in

"So I saw you skateboarding and thought, oh man this guy is taking a beating"
"Fuckin ay man, the road sucks"
"So how are you financing yourself on this journey?"

"Well I was working in Austin for a bit, and saved up enough to get out"
"Well, if you are interested, I got a job for you"
"Yeah, Im building a house, right up the road, if you pick up the trash around the site, Ill give you some cash for it, and you could spend the night there"
"Ill take you up on that offer", I couldn't say no to money
"Now listen, if anybody asks you say you are working for James. There have been some robberies in that neighborhood and the neighbor is a military man. He wont hesitate to shoot"
"Damn man, well I dont feel like getting shot today"
"He keeps a look out at night"
"Well I don't want to get shot tonight either"
"Don't worry about it, just don't go on his land. Oh, and there is a delivery coming at 1, Ill be back between 1 and 4."

He dropped me off at the house, which was right off of 71, showed me my water source, what to do and the neighbors land. It sounded sketchy with the crazy neighbor and the 'delivery', but I couldn't refuse the easy money.

"Dont make me regret this" he made sure to point out leaving
"Trust me, you won't"

I got to work for the next hour and passed out for a little. It was the perfect place to escape the midday heat. When I got up to the sound of a truck pulling up on the gravel driveway, it was about 230. And it was the delivery. I was kind of dissappointed when it didn't turn out to be a clever drug operation, but just a legitimate door delivery. They dropped the doors off, he came back for the signature, checked out the site and gave me an easy $30.

"So you are spending the night here?"
"Nah man, I gotta keep moving, but I appreciate you doing this"
"So where you headed?"
"Eventually, San Diego"
"Man listen, all these houses I build, its all on credit. If you want Ill get you a free airplane ticket to San Diego right now, Southwest Airlines"
"Man I really appreciate it, but this is the way to travel, Im just taking my time."
"Alright man, well good luck"

Back on 71 things didnt look any better. I hoped that maybe, just maybe the road would turn smooth. Wishful thinking. 10 miles and I was drained. I stopped inside a Chevron gas station for a drink, and when I was about to walk outside, it was pouring like a monsoon. Wet roads, big hills, and smooth wheels make for a dangerouos combo so I hung out inside, ate some fried chicken until the hot Texas sun came out and dried it all up in 45 minutes. I couldn't tell where the hell I was. The attendant told me I was already in Spicewood. An old man said that it was 15 miles more north up on this road. My torn ass map didn't help and when I tried to decifer its location it appeared to tell me something completely different. And not one sign on the road.

It really puts you down when you can't visualize your checkpoint or target for the day. It just seems like an exhaustin, never ending skate but I zoned out and kept pushing. Then I decided to call a friend and find out when I was exactly on the map. After some confusion Spicewood was 4.6 miles more from where I was. Not bad, I could handle it. At 645 I set up camp on a dry creek bed right off of 71. The road looks smooth for tomorrow.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Day 81: August 23rd 2009, The Long Hard Road out of Austin

I have been having a surge of emotions since yesterday. The first is anxiety. I am growing more and more fearful of hot, dry, barren west Texas and the desert. I have to escape the heat as much as I can, so therefore I am adapting in two new ways. The first is that instead of carrying one 1L bottle, I am carrying 3.5L. This is a significant weight addition, but with constant daily 100+ tempratures, and a barren desert, it becomes a matter of survival and not comfort. The second is that I plan on doing much more night skating so I have bought a reflector for this purpose.

The second feeling is a feeling of sadness. I am so sad to leave this awesome fucking city. Austin, Texas is a beautiful place in every sense of the word. The people, specifically the ladies, are gorgeous. Young beautiful women are everywhere. Everybody here is so cool, open and accepting. There is a great loving vibe in this city that makes it like no other place I have been. Austin sneeks up on you. There is always something to do and always somebody new to meet and before you know it you end up spending two months here. But I have no regrets, I just wish I could take this place with me. With an ocean Austin would be the perfect place to be and this is why I must leave.

The feeling of genuine friendships here is so awesome its like leaving family behind. And I see Chris Collins, aka Pepsi, as nothing less than a brother. For the past two months I have had the great fortune of living with one of the kindest, most generous, most respectful and coolest people I have ever known. I feel so blessed that it was in my destiny to end up with him.

I have been watching the Young Guns surf movies and looking at some pictures of waves I brought with me to remind me of the goodness that awaits me on the other side and I am anxious to leave. It is depressing to leave this awesome city but I remind myself constantly that with the end of one adventure is the beginning of a new one. I wonder whats in store for me next.

P.S. I erasing the subtitle of this blog. I just feel that its not really how I feel and until I can word it properly I am going to leave it blank.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Arrogance of Humans

I was reading my most recent book called Future Man? by Chris Morgan and I came across a sentence that just prompted me to write this whole entry.

"Intelligence. This is the major factor which sets apart man from all other creatures and has enabled him to obtain control over them"

Fucking humans are so arrogant. Do we really think we control some creatures because we can put a fucking monkey behind a cage, tie a dog on a leash, raise cattle for food, or outsmart some fish by catching them? Please. The control we have is so minimal it is almost negligible. How can one think we have control over creatures or nature? That's why we keep fucking ourselves, because we like to think we have control over nature. Example given:

Because I'm an entomologist Ill give the insect story. Everybody hates mosquitoes. How great it would be if we could kill them all. In the early 1900s we did well in that regard. Yeah, we killed off Anopheles quadrimaculatus, for example, the main transmitter of malaria in North America to populations low enough where malaria was 98% eradicated in our continent. Aedes aegypti, the main transmitter of yellow fever, was also eradicated to low levels and yellow fever was almost eradicated, especially with the development of a vaccine. Then everything was perfect. Because now, we had control over the creatures and the environment. We were now mass producing cars which were perfect compared to horses, since their shit never had to be cleaned and didn't spread waterborne diseases. New pesticides allowed us to control pests and almost eradicate yellow fever, malaria and other insect transmitted diseases from most of the North American continent. In the 1920s yellow fever campaign largely targeted the habitat of the larvae of Aedes aegypti, it's main transmitter. We were beginning to give cows hormones and different supplements to increase milk and beef production. Earth was becoming a utopia. And oh fuck, how could I forget the most important invention of the the 1900s, DDT the most perfect chemical ever invented, so cheap and so efficient. Crop production was up, pest numbers down and North America was booming. This was the period from about 1900-1960. Like Mr. Morgan said, we had control on our environment. But nature wasn't about to take our shit. Nature is so much smarter, more patient and so much more destructive when it came down to business. Fast forward to 1999.

A new disease pops up in New York City. Coming in from JFK Airport, a patient was admitted to the hospital after going into a coma. After a brain scan, it was clear that some sort of new virus infected his brain cells. The patient dies a few days later with an unidentified disease. A couple of months later a new virus is identified by the CDC in North America, West Nile Virus. Its not that serious in most cases, mostly affecting immunocompromised individuals and has been moderately controlled but that's not the point. West Nile Virus (WNV) is just one virus and it came from another continent and now its here to stay. Just like that it found a place to settle and the perfect mosquito to spread it.

Just like the non-native Ae. aegypti that we targeted in the early 20th century, since it spread yellow fever and dengue, and almost killed off, two more new species popped up in the late 80s and 90s in North America. One was the Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus), which was first recorded in the 1980s. It survived in tropical climates coming somewhere from southern China. The larvae were brought in by mistake trading tires with China (In the case of Ae aegypti it was brought in water barrels during the slave trade, also by mistake). Inside the tires some rain collected and the lady Asian Tiger mosquitoes found a perfect opportunity to lay some eggs. They entered North America through Houston, Texas. The mosquito since then spread up north to Connecticut and as far west as the Lubbock area of Texas.

Through New Jersey, in about 1998, also in tires, came another mosquito, this time a sub tropical one, Ochlerotatus japonicus (which has no common name but for the sake of making things easier we will call the Japanese Mosquito). Together they teamed up with West Nile virus. The Japanese mosquito from the north and the Asian Tiger mosquito from the south. They made for a pretty good combo and now West Nile Virus (along with other important native vectors) has spread to every state except Hawaii and Alaska. In our perfect world how could we let that happen? Did we suddenly lose control?

We can call ourselves more 'lucky' than 'in control', that although WNV spread so fast, so much it is not a very serious disease and its mortality rate is relatively low. The Japanese mosquito turned out to be an efficient vector of the virus along with a native species in the north. In the south, the Asian Tiger mosquito, turned out to be an efficient vector of the virus too. But we might not be so lucky in the future when a more serious one comes along.

Back in the early 20th century the engine was being improved and sold to the public. Horse carriages in North America and Europe were being replaced with the internal combustion engine. We were in control for a little bit and we thought it was perfect. Too many diseases like cholera, dysentary, giardia and cryptosporidiosis were spread from horse shit draining into sewage and eventually drinking water. Now that the horses were off the streets, it would be easier to control those diseases since there would almost be no shit on the streets. Cars didn''t have to shit. Then in the 70s we began to discover that all the shit coming out of our mode of transportation was harming the air we were breathing. In the late 90s we began to realize that maybe the car wasn't so perfect anymore, and that's not a story I really need to elaborate on.

Also in the early 20th century new 'perfect' chemicals were being developed and they absolutely helped us control our environment, at least temporarily. Products like DDT, Dursban, and Carbaryl were so cheap to produce and so effective in killing anything with a nervous system, farmers couldn't say no. Food production boomed and human population rose. Again we were controlling our environment. Then in the 60s Rachel Carson published Silent Spring. Of course in the beginning we were so shocked; in disbelief at the the idea that our control of our environment was slipping or maybe even non existent was so far fetched, that her book was ignored and her reputation down the drain. Some years later, we began to realize the effects, maybe she wasn't so wrong. The EPA was created, DDT was banned and then Dursban later and most recently Carbaryl. But newer, more improved chemicals are constantly being developed that we don't really know the effect of, but are used anyway to create the illusion of control.

The need to control our environment all arose from our need to expand and our population to grow. Pesticides were developed so that more food could be produced. Diseases were controlled so that manpower wouldn't be wasted. The internal combustion engine helped us spread those foods and ideas over a much greater area at a much greater rate, We were getting so good at controlling the creatures around us, we began to actually inject genes into bacteria. The genes would be incorporated into the genome of the bacteria and whatever the message of the inserted gene was would be made into protein by the bacteria. This technology, called recombinant DNA technology is how we now produce most insulin for diabetics.

But it all came to bite us in the ass. After accidentally bringing in those two new mosquito species, we helped a new virus spread across the nation. And all that shit that was sprayed on Ae. aegypti, to control yellow fever and dengue, well it helped kill it off, but we are now learning that there are rising deaths from yellow fever in the Americas and Florida, because of this new efficient vector, and a newer resistant strain. The cars polluted our air, the pesticides mutated our children, and so the pattern continues.

Humans, as Agent Smith once told Morpheus, are like a virus. We consume to develop ourselves with no consideration for the environment around us and we give nothing back. We focus on nothing but ourselves because we are too worried about control instead of harmony. We must lose our arrogance in thinking we can control nature. Temporarily, yes, its possible, but Nature wont ever let up, ever. And when it hits back, it hits hard. I hear people always complaining about mosquitoes, although every pest species of mosquito was created into the pest it is by us. Most of them are non native species that were brought in by our irresponsible quest for development and growth. Almost every pest is non native or has become so because of us. It follows that pattern and that's the problem, is that its a pattern of slow destruction. That, for some reason, we refuse to respect Nature. We are just taking from it as much as we can for the sake of us, draining every resource. We know what happens to a virus when in runs out of host cells, its spreads to the next and if it cant it dies off. Nature isn't going out without a fight and its either going to win or go down with us.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Day 61: August 4th 2009, Less Talk More Skate (Austin, TX)

I got another skateboarding on the sidewalk ticket today. Thats two. But I got my first paycheck today, finally. 3 weeks without cash is rough, but its all good now, so tonight its time to celebrate.

Anyway, I realize I have been talking and living to much and not skating. But believe me, this trip is far from over. Its just on pause. It will never end until San Diego. Again I'm talking, so Ill be quiet. Next time, Ill be on the road.

"Im going, going back, back to Cali, Cali"