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Leaving the place better than we found it
Seeing with my eyes closed
Thomas Jefferson on gun control
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Our hardy heartland
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Thoughts from the inside
Leveraging the internet to build our walls
Twitters from the past
And the invincibility of youth
Without ego projection
Yet another gift of the road
The charming side of obstinance
The creative part of photography
A movie critic looks in the mirror
We are not alone
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The end of Kumbaya
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Running out of dirt
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The Bay of Fundy, where the sea breathes
How to photograph them with anything, even your cellphone
A simple question we get every day
We may be failing to fail
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Becoming a hero in one's own life story
A writing assignment
A new discovery of something old
Finding new eyes to see old landscapes
Hick humor
Toys for photographing wild places
Experiencing life with God
A radical thought about our radicals
Redemption with style
Hidden heroes among us
Resetting our parallel processor
A village with heart
A lesson from the road
The bullet dodged
A soul sparkles
Isolation in style
Painless ways to lose your virginity : 11/12/15
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Progress
Mastering your master
09/11/16

The Pennsylvania Dutch, better known as the Amish, have a quaint take on progress. They can take it or leave it. Which of us doesn't sometimes get overwhelmed by technology, stressed by the pace of the rat race, and wish we could ride off into the sunset in our horse-drawn buggy?

We daydream of dropping our chains, but it doesn't work that way for the Amish. Behind the buggies, regulation beards, and cute hair bonnets are religious patriarchs ready to summon the dabbler in bicycles and cellphones to an inquest. Viewed as an enemy at the gates, modernity invokes a state of siege with all community members conscripted. Whereas we can decide to turn off our TV's, they can never turn theirs on. We can choose moderation, but for them that is a sin.

With moderation, however, comes the need to make decisions, to master our personal progress, to leverage technology to achieve our dreams instead of letting it take us for a ride.

Many moons ago, pecking away at my laptop on a picnic table in a national park, a hiker stomped by with the remark, "Some people just can't leave the office behind."

Somehow I had the cheek to reply, "But this is my office."

The hiker grumbled off, leaving me to think about how I can be true to my pronouncement. From that day forward, I never looked for hideouts where cellphones couldn't reach me. Some few times, I even practiced my mastery by listening to it ring without answering it, surprised that I could do it, and even more surprised that the world felt OK afterward. A sense of liberation followed whereby I was no longer ashamed to seek WiFi near a forest, knowing that I could trust myself to go on a hike.

Here I am banging out my thoughts with keycaps and electrons, a waterfall waiting patiently around the bend, and feeling not just sinless but blessed.

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The Amish bid farewell

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Flower riot

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Rooting around the pond muck

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Picket charged across this open field at Gettysburg

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Was it something I said?

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What did the grownups do here at Little Round Top?

For more pictures of Pennsylvania, click here.


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