The unfortunate casualty of my recent “in haste due to rough conditions” blogs has been my responses to readers’ comments. I am sorry about this. As I’ve mentioned before, Aimee diligently sends me a digest of comments every day via email, as I am not able to browse the internet from mid-ocean. And I look forward to seeing your comments. It makes my blog feel more like a conversation, and less like a monologue into the void.

In fact, I tend to think of my blog as a cocktail party. I am the hostess, so you all have to be nice to me ūüôā And you are all my welcome guests.

Some of you have known each other for a long time (Doug, Jay, Joan, Rico, Laurey, Bill, the Johns) and some are relative newcomers. I am sure – or at least, I hope – that the old-timers make the new arrivals feel welcome, as it’s no fun arriving at a party where you don’t know anybody and not being able to get a word in edgeways.

Like at any lively party, people connect, and I get a real kick when I hear that emails have been exchanged, or people have met up in real life. When Laurey writes in to update us on her cancer treatment, or Joan shares her stories about the chickens (and hopefully in the future, the progress of her smallholding) it gives me a warm glow and a sense of community.

Another sign of a good party is the conversation takes on a life of its own. I gather there was some lively debate about whether it was okay for comments to go off-topic. Personally, I don’t have a problem with this – within the constraints of good manners, of course. I am rather starved for conversation out here, so it’s great to see a good, juicy, thought-provoking comment from time to time.

Hence, Rico, I thank you for sharing your top two fears: “global economic collapse” and “the coming police state”. While I personally feel that environmental issues trump all others (after all, if we humans are the authors of our own extinction, everything else is moot) I agree that there are other hugely important issues that we ignore at our peril. I tend to steer clear of them on my blog as being too political, but one day you and I must get together for that well-caffeinated coffee shop conversation.

Daniel, thank you for mentioning the word “conservationist”. This is a good word, and much less loaded than “environmentalist” has unfortunately become. It strikes me as ironic that, in the US at least, “environmental” has come to be identified with the political left, and thought of as progressive or liberal. First, I find it bizarre that the state of our planet has come to be a politically polarized issue, and second, the real point of “environmentalism” is to keep the ecosystem exactly as it is, or even better, as it used to be – and if that isn’t “conservative”, I don’t know what is. So “conservationist” sums this up well.

Marks_the_spot: I appreciated these words of yours: “I don’t believe there is any scientific way to quantify human ideals like right and wrong, fair and unfair, good and bad. Happiness is the measure I use for my interactions with the world and others. Long term happiness requires long term thinking. I am shaping the future of my children and I desperately want them to be as happy as possible…whew!” Happiness – especially the right kind of mindful, joyful happiness – is indeed a good measure. Thanks also for thanking Vic for his good work – he amply deserves all good praise!

Bruce: thanks for this thought: “I’ve been thinking that the difference in happiness and unhappiness boils down to one’s movement through life. There are two ways to conduct life: linear and circular. Linear is growth-oriented. Circular is acquirement-oriented. Linear allows for forward movement. Circular leads you back where you started on an endless mill.” I used to live on that endless mill, and I couldn’t agree more. An excellent image. We want our manufacturing processes to be circular, not linear, but our lives to be linear, not circular.

Mary, thanks for the Jack Layton quote: ‘Always have a dream that is longer than a lifetime.’

Joan – you would name a goat after me? Honoured, I’m sure! (Well, actually, I’m not quite sure…. a goat tried to eat my dress when I was about 4 years old, and I’ve been a little dubious about them ever since! ūüôā

That’s all I have time for now, folks, but I wanted you to know that I do enjoy your comments and cherish your contributions. Thank you, thank you, thank you… from the middle of the big blue.

Other Stuff:

Still toughing it and roughing it out here. Conditions due to get calmer over the next few days. A HUGE dorado has moved in downstairs. He must be nearly 4 feet long. Have yet to see him belly-flop, but it would be quite a splash.

Quote of the day: “Sometimes it’s a form of love just to talk to somebody that you have nothing in common with and still be fascinated by their presence.” (David Byrne)

Photo: a good party – Roz at the San Francisco Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race Dinner

Sponsored Miles: Stanley Miller, Leslie Layton and Thomas Weber – thank you. Roz rowed about 25 miles yesterday.

11 Comments

  • Woo boy-hit thumbs down by accident!! Glad you have a laptop-heehee, iPhone can create some interesting typos!! Love that David Byrne quote! I’m concerned about the future, like Rico, but I think once folks startnto “walk like Egyptians” and demand our pols answer to us and not the moneyed interests will be great. Don’t know too many billionaire enviros, so you know who I’m taking ’bout. Doubt get too depressed folks–don’t have the link on hand, but will find it-but the people of Iceland, which you don’t hear too much about, have taken matters into their own hands and are jump-starting their economy without resorting to the austerity measures that certain bankers wanted to impose on them(it was,like here, a matter of criminal banking-and the people of Iceland refused to pay$130/mo for the next 5 yrs to rescue the banks. We can do this-we can make the world better, like Roz, we have to go forward and let fear fall by the wayside. Easier said then done, but we can do it, I know! (reading “No Impact Man” and drinking coffe-Roz, I’m sensor you good caffeine vibes-and sorry for the typos-damn iPhone!)

    • Margo, I have the iPhone-all-thumbs problem too … especially over the weekend while climbing mountains … hard to ignore personal connections when cell phones and internet access (even intermittently) work at 12,000′ elevation … BUT, now on desktop and just have to add that Rico hit my biggest concern on the head …¬†

      I normally stress my positive outlook and the hopefulness of all that is being done in the entrepreneurial private sector to compete for the next incremental innovation, but I¬†discretely¬†admonish “expect the worst and hope for the best.”¬†

      I remember a professor who advise me in 1970 in a different context to “always wear sneakers” in order to be ready for whatever might transpire. ¬†Well … I am rethinking that. ¬†We need to “always wear sneakers” in a metaphorical way. Be ready for the worst to happen in social and economic realm — hope for the best and create flexibility in order to negotiate, navigate and maneuver when “stuff happens.” The flutter of the butterfly wings that starts a cascade of unimaginable events could come from any of a variety of unexpected places.

  • Earlier this year my employer, Jessica, 28, had some of us readYour Perfect Right. I have been practicing the lessons, essentially being fair, and reading your blog plus listening to your podcast has given me much to think about onthis subject. Thank you for being you and helping me be a better person, actualy and conservationaly.
    I just listened to the latest podcast. Vic, my condolences, let us know how the memorial goes.

  • I really had nothing to say…

    It is absolutely my pleasure to wake up to my routine morning dilema: whether to sip my cup of coffee or share your blog (onto my social networks) first.

    I have only touched upon your adventures for a little over a year. I hope those newer to this blog join at will. Next year, you may have offered the same contributions as I seem to have made. Scrolling through the many sponsors that Roz has had for the Eat, Pray, Row voyage alone, I hope that silent guests find some return for thier contribution as well. 

    I share this in joy:

    Derek Sivers briefly discusses people… weird or just different.
     http://youtu.be/1K5SycZjGhI 

    I guess the only real thing I wanted to say was my favorite three words of encouragement…

    Row Roz Row!

    ~Jay ūüôā

  • I have a question for you that I have wanted to ask for some time now… I hope that the answer is not on a previous blog, as I am a late bloomer-of-a-belly-flopper.

    Who, outside of your mom and sister believed in you from the outset. You know, prior to the Atlantic, prior to outfitting Sedna. About the time you were rowing back from your first open ocean practice session… That moment when you thought… “I really think I can do this.” Who (all) was rooting for you then?

    Just a burning question…

    ~Jay

  • Roz, I thought that this by Sandy Baker might be of interest to you:”Planning a second career for your retirement from rowing is a different
    process than selecting that first job. Your goals, experiences and needs
    are different now. You may have more freedom to create a career that
    makes you happy.

    Steps for Planning

    A well-planned career is one that is likely to provide fulfillment for many years to come. Start with these planning steps.

    Explore Your Passions

    One of the best benefits of starting a second career is you can choose what you want to do. The best way to do this is to
    find out what your passion is. Rather than focusing on moving up the
    corporate ladder, consider what you enjoy doing instead. If you have the
    freedom to explore options, take the time to do so.

    What do you enjoy doing?
    What kind of work environment do you prefer?
    How many hours a week would your ideal job be?
    Who do you want to be associated with?

    Understanding your passions and the scope of how much you want to work
    is important. Most who start second careers want to do something not
    just for money, but also for what it brings into their lives. Finding
    out what you would enjoy is the first step in planning a new career. ”

    You still have a while to go, and I am sure that you have thought about it and may already have things in the works, but this caught my eye.

    Glad the fishies are keeping you entertained, I love to watch the flying fish.

  • Roz, when you are feeling crisp and fresh as an Apple, Think Different:

    “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them; disagree with them; glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”¬†‚ÄĒApple [“Think Different”¬†marketing campaign, sometimes attributed to Kerouac]

    And when you are feeling a little beat, snap your fingers and recite:

    “[…] the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’ What did they call such young people in Goethe’s Germany?”¬†¬†‚ÄĒ¬†Jack Kerouac¬†(On the Road)

    Row, like, crazy, Roz!

  • Vicissitudes – a word I like because it sounds like its meaning, fluctuates as it emerges, like the waves under a rowboat.¬† We all experience them, in different contexts. Roz rows 25 miles on one day, gets blown backwards on another.¬† I found 6 cents on Monday and $2.17 on Tuesday. Ain’t life grand?

    Thanks for your comment on “conservationist.” Too much of a politically charged atmosphere makes for less thought and more emotion.¬† As we in the states plunge headlong into the primary election season I remember what one of my teachers told us; “Two percent of people think, three percent think that they think, and ninety-five percent would rather die than think!”

    Row Roz Row! and splash a bit of cool salty water our way!

  • Since you mention conservation and conservative…In the parking lot of our local farmer’s co-op the other day someone was confused by my collection of bumper stickers which included Save the Whales, Support your Local Co-Op, Tea Party Patriots and National Rifle Association. I was assisted in my explanation of what “conservative” means by a man who supplies the co-op with Elk meat (which he hunts with bow and arrow) and a retired school teacher and registered Republican who always carries a garbage bag and one of those long tong things with which she picks up trash dropped by – her words – “Democrats”.

    • Funny (this is admittedly a generalization) but you’d think a “retired school teacher” would know better than to generalize since students (probably the worst of litterers), in all likelihood, have no political affiliation. Perhaps he believes that all littering kids are predestined to become “Democrats.” A conundrum: What label would he place on all of the student and adult smokers who leave a trail of butts everywhere? Is it human nature to generalize and label people?

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