first_imgClick here to subscribe to the Pharr Out BlogHey y’all,I love brownies; brownies are my favorite dessert. I love hiking; hiking is my favorite activity. Now back to brownies…. Forget crème brulee, layer cakes, and cookies (except if they are Miles’ cookies), I want chocolate fudge brownies without nuts and with extra chocolate chips.Some people like to savor their brownies, and appreciate every bite slowly. I am not one of those people. If someone puts a brownie in front of me, I don’t just eat it; I devour it. With restraint out the window and very little concern for what others think, I scarf down however many brownies are in front of me… and then I lick the plate. Oh, and I like my brownies straight out of the oven… still warm.Now to hiking. No one can doubt that I love to hike. I love to be on a trail by a mountain, a valley, a river, on top of boulders, wherever. I can’t get enough of hiking. Sometimes when I hike I want to indulge in the trail, the miles, and the wilderness. I want to consume it so completely and quickly that at day’s end I feel like I was a hiking glutton. Some folks like to savor every step of their hike, spreading it out to make it last longer. I respect and sometimes even envy those people. Someday, after this hike, I suspect I will be more like them.But for now I have a voracious appetite for hiking. And I like my hiking hot, meaning dead of summer, 95-degree, 90% humidity hot. I complain when I see my breath on a cool mid-July morning in Connecticut, but I never complain about the heat. The heat is my friend.So why all this talk about hot brownies and hiking in warm weather? Well, I’ve realized over the years that some people- both on and off the trail- struggle to understand why I hike the way I do. I certainly don’t feel the need to justify my hiking style to them any more than I feel they need to justify their style to me. But in an effort to help folks understand why I hike this way, I’ve begun to use the brownie comparison. When I hike, I devour miles like I devour hot brownies, not so much because I want to set a record but because I want to get the most out of the experience, and to me this means consuming the trail in great chunks.Ok, enough brownie metaphors. I love it when real people bring real brownies to the trail. Brew and I have kept mostly to ourselves on this hike, but once we reached Connecticut some dear friends from my first thru-hike came to the trail bearing hordes of goodies, including some of the best brownies ever. Along with the crew came my friend J (aka “Jukebox”). He was one of my best friends on my first thru-hike and continues to be a tried and true part of my life several years later. He spent a morning pacing me on the trail and then played guitar and enjoyed a beer with Brwe while waiting for me to finish up.Once I reached New York a very hospitable and accomplished ultra runner named Steve came to make sure I was putting in my miles and working hard. That night, he and his wife Mary Ellen provided us with a shower, an amazing dinner, and a very comfortable bed. We have felt very blessed recently by the trail and the provisions, and I feel very fortunate to be out here chewing up miles… and brownies. 🙂last_img read more

State Road 1 crash kills Guilford man

first_imgSt. Leon, In. — Indiana State Police say a Guilford man was killed on State Road 1 Wednesday afternoon.Reports indicate at 1:30 p.m. a car driven by George Reusch, 84, of Guilford, was southbound when he drove into the path of a northbound truck driven by Stephen Cole, 46, of Louisville. The two vehicles collided nearly head-on.Reusch was declared deceased at the scene. Cole was not injured.Cole voluntarily submitted to a toxicology test.The crash remains under investigation.last_img

Larisa Ceric third on the International Judaic Federation List

first_imgLarisa Ceric, a Bosnian-Herzegovinian judo, is on the third place in the new rankings of the International Judaic Federation (IJF) in the category of +78 kg.The best BH judo has since the last success on the international scene, increased by four positions on the list.The first two positions remained unchanged and first is Idalys Ortiz, a Cuban, and the second is Kayra Sayit, Turkish.Aleksandra Samardzic, in category up to 70 kg, holds 19th place, which is for two positions better than the previous list.(Source: klix)last_img

Spy chief stumbles on Capitol Hill

first_imgMcConnell, who briefs Bush each morning, said he did not anticipate the six- and seven-day workweeks, with hours stretching from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m. “My biggest challenge early is just stamina,” McConnell, 64, told an audience of government officials in May. Days later, McConnell issued a 100-day plan that included efforts to simplify the security clearance process and other bureaucratic problems. The marching orders drew quiet grumbles from some midlevel intelligence officers who thought he was pressing for changes that were already happening. His office thought everyone needed to get on the same page. McConnell again irked some when he boasted to an audience of intelligence officials and two reporters that he cut a classified, multibillion-dollar program. It did not take long for the media to find out he had cut a much-maligned satellite program known as “Misty.” Then, this summer, McConnell dove headfirst into the FISA debate, championing a bill that he said would modernize the law to ensure spy agencies adequately could eavesdrop on adversaries. Civil liberties advocates say his ideas trample the Constitution. McConnell caught the attention of Democrats in May when he wrote an opinion column for The Washington Post that left the impression that FISA had not been updated since 1978. Among other factual differences, House Intelligence Chairman Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, responded that the law had been updated in 50 ways since its passage. Still, Reyes and other Democrats were willing to work with him, and McConnell spent hours personally hammering out legislation before Congress’ annual August recess. It got bumpy when Democrats accused McConnell of negotiating in bad faith. John Brennan, an intelligence veteran and chairman of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance professional association, said he does not believe McConnell was trying to mislead anyone on a complicated subject. “In all of my dealings with Mike,” he said, “I have found him to be of the highest integrity and as honest as the day is long. I think he is trying to do the right thing.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – President George W. Bush’s spy chief is in the midst of a crash course on how to navigate some of Washington’s most dangerous terrain: Capitol Hill. By many accounts, National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell has a lot to learn as the administration’s point man on its controversial effort to overhaul the law that governs how national security agencies snoop on U.S. soil. When Congress created Mc- Connell’s job in late 2004, lawmakers intentionally kept the spy chief off the president’s Cabinet, adhering to the tradition that intelligence officials should eschew politics. But in recent months, Mc- Connell has opened himself up to criticism he has become too political to oversee the 16 spy agencies. Rep. Jane Harman, D-El Segundo, a co-author of the legislation that helped create his job, put it bluntly to a Washington audience last week: “Jane to Mike: Please stop. You’re undermining the authorities of your office.” To some, McConnell is a well-regarded retired Navy vice admiral who left a lucrative career as a government consultant to respond to Bush’s search for a spy chief; he’s a much-needed veteran to help the often clumsy intelligence agencies adapt to a post-Sept. 11 world. To others, McConnell is out of the shadows and in over his head. Worse, he either does not always think before he speaks or he intentionally misstates key facts. Just last week, he waited two days before retracting Senate testimony in which he wrongly credited changes in August to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act with this month’s success in breaking up a plot against U.S. targets in Germany. “Those arrests were made with the assistance of intelligence gathered under U.S. laws in effect earlier this year,” said Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J., chairman of a House Appropriations panel that oversees intelligence spending. “The DNI knew that.” McConnell has declined repeated requests for interviews this year, including one last week to discuss surveillance law and his first 200 days in office. The soft-spoken southerner took over the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in February. Early on, he got some snickers when he complained about his workload. last_img read more