Things I hate and don’t understand.

I hate exercise.

But I love hiking in the mountains with Samoyeds, climbing rock and ice, cycling, skiing, and longboarding (also with Samoyeds).

I don’t understand German grammar.

I don’t understand why adding time words to sentences changes the order of clauses. But I can order food, talk to kids, and plan a climbing weekend with German friends, in German.

I hate learning Spanish.

But I love being able to get exactly what I want on my plate of carnitas, reading Paz, flirting with beautiful Colombian women, and understanding the Escalona and Zuleta vallenatos interpreted by Carlos Vives.

I don’t understand how I onsighted Slot Machine (5.11) in the Creek.

I vaguely remember a bunch of knee and body jams, and weird liebacking off a left-hand arête, and slammer #2s, before– somehow– getting to the chains.

I hate work.

But I love hanging out in a class with kids, talking with them about things that they find interesting, and helping them understand those ideas and communicate them more effectively.

I don’t understand how to find the iPad user manual– or even whether it exists.

But I don’t seem to have a problem using the iPad my school gave me for blogging, email, Garageband, MovieTalk, Twitter, Wastebook, etc.

I hated Nepali grammar.

But I loved hearing about walking distances, tasty goat stew, and who sold the best rakshi in whatever town I was in.

I don’t understand how internal combustion engines work.

But somehow I’ve been driving a car for thirty years.

I hate history.

But there are really cool stories about how Anglo-Canadian arrogance toward– and cultural differences with– Québec led to significant disagreements about the value — and therefore implementation– of Prohibition in the early 1920s, which led, in turn, to significant differences in how alcohol is distributed and sold in English and French Canada, and which created an Eastern liquor establishment (many of whose founding members were bootleggers), a Canadian and U.S. Mafia, and a government system of liquor management whose economic incentive structures led to the mass production of alcohol in Canada, a reaction to which led directly to a demand for “craft” beer, which a friend, thanks to new laws, brews in Vancouver.

Go figure.



  1. A couple of things:

    I wish there were user manuals around for tech stuff. I have no idea how to use an iPhone: it is so counter-intuitive to me in so many ways. When-ever a friend gives me one to look at pictures or what-ever, the screen goes blank or zips off to something else with icons or words that are cryptic and meaningless to me. The iPad isn’t so bad, but I really don’t know what can be done with it, so I’m sure there are lots of things that are hidden on it that I am missing out. Certainly, there are changes I’d like to temporally make when using my son-in-law’s iPad, but the dumb thing gives me no clue how to adjust it. I recently bought a laptop computer. There is no instruction manual at all. On the surface, near the edge, there are some icons, half of which I can’t figure out. I had the thing about a couple of weeks before, out of frustration that the icons I thought I understood didn’t light up when I thought they should, I was shoving my laptop aside, when I noticed that on the BEVEL UNDERSIDE of the thing there was a tiny light for each icon. What a stupid place to put them: Why should I have to duck down each time I want to check on e of these things? But then, maybe I should have expected that: when I go shopping here in Korea, the prices in the supermarkets are often in the same location.

    You wrote:
    “I don’t understand how I onsighted Slot Machine (5.11) in the Creek.

    I vaguely remember a bunch of knee and body jams, and weird liebacking off a left-hand arête, and slammer #2s, before– somehow– getting to the chains.”

    I suppose this is English, but I have no idea what You are talking about.

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